About the Causes of Rectal Bleeding During Menstruation

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One can be shocked and worried when it seems that blood is coming from the rectal area during menstruation as well. The first time it happens, perhaps it can be dismissed as something you're not quite sure is happening. The second time it occurs can send your mind reeling into a sea of worst-case scenarios, from a stomach ulcer to cancer...Worry not about those things! There's usually more logical, simple explanations for rectal bleeding.

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Woman in thought (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Rectal Bleeding

Rectal bleeding is known as hematochezia in medical terminology. This occurs when red blood passes through the anus, blood that's usually the color that you see when you prick a finger. It often clots on the way out or mixes with the stool. Although it is called rectal bleeding, the bleeding may be coming from somewhere other than the body part positioned right about the anus. Some women are really concerned about the fact that the rectal bleeding occurs around--or only within--the menstruation cycle. Others that experience it more often notice that its strongest during menstruation.

Woman holding stomach
Woman holding stomach (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Endometriosis

Endometriosis is often the cause of rectal bleeding. If, in addition to the rectal bleeding, you experience nausea, bloating, back pain, cramping, gas pains, discomfort when experiencing bowel movements, or constipation, you should also consider this more strongly. One can have the problem without those symptoms--and it should be looked into even in their absence with rectal bleeding--but those are common symptoms one will also experience. Endometriosis is when uterine lining occurs in other pelvic organs, and bleeding in the rectum often indicates that it has done so in the intestinal tract. This is far from the only reason for rectal bleeding in patients, but it is something many women face.

Woman with cramps sitting on floor
Woman with cramps sitting on floor (Image: Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Other Causes

Sometimes hemorrhoids cause rectal bleeding. This is true in both men and women, but the changes in a woman's body and awareness during menstruation may cause her to notice it at that time. The change in hormones can affect many things within the body.

Colon polyps are rarely cancerous--yet it's important to note that some are. This is sometimes the cause of rectal bleeding for men and women, and it should be considered by your doctor. Since it is rare, there is no need to think the worst. Simply consult your doctor for peace of mind. Colorectal cancer, after all, should be tested for and ruled out.

Constipation can even be a cause of rectal bleeding. When using the bathroom, sometimes the anal lining is torn.

Diverticular bleeding may be the source of the problem. Diverticula are pockets in the large intestine. The bleeding caused by this problem is usually painless, yet it can look the worst, with much bleeding. Food poisoning of some type is typically the culprit here.

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Woman in bathroom (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Ulcer

An ulcer can sometimes be diagnosed and treated from finding blood in the stool. This is thought to be caused by stress, but that is a debatable issue in the medical community. However, if you are under stress when you notice the symptom, it should be considered...and even if you're not. An ucler is an internal open sore in the stomach, upper small intestine or esophagus.

Woman holding stomach
Woman holding stomach (Image: Tom Le Goff/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Warning

You should see your physician if this experience occurs only once. While it is not always something serious, in the cases where it is something serious, quick treatment can make all the difference for your help. Your doctor will at least be able to rule out those worst-case scenarios and set your mind at peace.

Keep in mind that this article is written for informational purposes only, and it is no substitution for medical advice. You should consult your doctor or other health care professional at the first signs of a problem.

Woman talking to doctor
Woman talking to doctor (Image: Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

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