Abdominal pain, bloating, muscle aches, even nausea are all common side effects of periods.
That week of every month is filled with mood swings and multiple body pains.
One such pain also occurs in the rectum.This may be uncommon to some women, but those who face it know it causes severe suffering!
You might wonder, why all the Rectal Pain during Periods?
Rectal pain can be due to various reasons. It might be due to muscle tension that builds up during period cramps, or might also be an effect of the compound, prostaglandin. Apart from this, it can be due to constipation, fibroids and, rectovaginal endometriosis.
Now don’t get tense seeing all the causes! Because there are ways to relieve the pain.So, let’s not waste another minute, and address the pain in your rectum.
Table of Content
Reasons for Rectal Pain During Periods
Rectum is the part of the lower intestines that holds waste material that is to be excreted by the body. The opening that lets out the waste is called the anus.
In a woman’s body, the rectum is situated right behind the uterus. So, it’s not unusual for rectal pain to occur during periods.
Many women think they’re the only ones experiencing this and thus avoid conversations on this topic. But, it’s important to realize that millions of women around the world face this.
While, reasons for rectal pain can be simple issues that can be treated at home, it can also be severe health conditions requiring surgery.
Thus, without further ado, let’s look at the reasons.
Cramps and bloating are common effects during menstruation.
Sadly, all the muscle pain and tension happening in the front part of your lower abdomen, can induce pressure in the back parts.
When a lot of pressure builds up, rectal or lower back muscles contract leading to muscle spasms. This will cause pain in the lower back, rectum and buttocks.
In some women, the uterus is slightly tilted towards the back. For them, it’s more common for uterus cramps to cause rectal pain. This tilted position of the uterus is completely normal, but a little uncommon.
Now you know the pain in your rectum can be simply due to all the muscular tension caused by abdominal cramps.
Additionally, it’s good to know about other issues in the pelvic area too, like causes for feeling heavy in the pelvic area.
Prostaglandin is a hormone-like compound present in your body that helps you in various ways.
The effects of this compound are very interesting. It can have completely opposite effects for different parts of your body!
In some parts, it can induce pain, like in the uterus during menstruation and pregnancy. While in others it can reduce pain! Prostaglandins are also involved in body healing, and blood clots formation during injury. At the same time, it’s also associated with inflammations.
So, as you may already guess, the cramps in period are an effect of prostaglandin. It causes the uterus to contract so it can shed its lining as menstruation blood.
It is thought by scientific minds that prostaglandins can cause contractions in the rectal muscle as well.
Thus, this may be another cause for your Rectal Pain during Periods.
This term means pain in the rectum or anus. This is a condition where people face stabbing pain in their rectum from time to time. The pain can be totally random, and can occur in both men and women. Also, it can last for a few seconds or even 30 minutes, and then disappear completely.
This condition causes such intense pain in the rectum that it can even prevent you from stepping out of the house!
Although proctalgia fugax don’t have any specific triggers, it can occur at a higher rate due to menstruation, constipation or stress.
Hence, the muscle spasms in your rectum that cause it to ache, may be due to proctalgia fugax.
Who hasn’t experienced long, difficult hours in the bathroom. But these hours get even longer during periods! All the abdominal pain, and now pain in the rear portion too!
Constipation can be another reason for rectal pains.
While it can happen anytime, whether you’re in your period or not. Menstruation changes bowel movements, so it can be the cause of constipation too.
Constipation is the formation of hard, dry stool that is tough to move down the bowels. Furthermore, you’ll know you have constipation if you stool less than 3 times a week.
Also, did you know Constipation might also cause chest pain, too?
Fibroids are non-cancerous growths in the uterus area. These usually have no symptoms, so many women never realize they have fibroids.
The size of these fibroids can vary, from being tiny to the size of a melon.
Larger fibroids cause the uterus to push against the rectum, causing pain in the rectal region.
In this case, the pain would be there even without periods.
Some other symptoms of fibroids include abdominal pain, difficulty to urinate, constipation, pain during sex, etc.
So, if these symptoms match with yours, don’t forget to consult a doctor.
Endometriosis is a condition where tissue that normally grows in the uterus, is present and accumulates in other organs.
Rectovaginal endometriosis is when this extra uterine tissue infiltrates deep into the vagina and rectum. Although it is outside the uterus, it’s still the uterine tissue. So, it will be similarly affected by hormones.
This condition is less common than endometriosis. It is found to affect around 37% of the women affected by endometriosis.
When this extra growth is in or around the rectum, it will cause severe rectal pain during periods.
Other symptoms include painful sex, constipation or diarhhoea, bleeding from rectum during or between periods, severe stomach pain, swelling in rectum or perineum, and painful bowel movements.
So, this may be another reason for Rectal Pain during Periods.
In most cases, women experience rectal pain during periods as a result of the first two reasons : muscle tension and prostaglandin.
It’s almost like a bump in the elbow that can get the whole hand paining. Periods end up causing pain all around the site of occurrence!
But, it’s best to acknowledge that fibroids and rectovaginal endometriosis are possibilities too. Just notice whether the pain occurs only during periods, or remains before or after it too.
In the following section you’ll find some treatments and home remedies based on the conditions.
There are both medical and home remedies for rectal pain during period. Let’s take a look at them:
Medical treatments are as important as home treatments during period pain or rectal pain.
Keep in mind that if the rectal pains get extremely severe, frequent, or occur without period, look out for a doctor!
Here are some treatments based on the reason for pain :
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs do wonders during periods!
These are over the counter pain relievers. No matter what the reason is for rectal pain, NSAIDs can help to relieve them.
Common NSAIDs include Ibuprofen like Advil, or Naproxen like Aleve.
NSAIDs also restrict the production of prostaglandins, that’s why they’re specifically helpful during periods.
Hormonal treatment (For endometriosis)
Hormonal treatment is the most effective way to treat endometriosis. Hormonal pills include birth control pills. These provide the hormone progesterone to the body.
Progesterone prevents the growth of uterine tissue anywhere in the body. Thus, this helps reduce the symptoms for rectovaginal endometriosis.
Birth control can also help relieve general period cramps.
But keep in mind, this can interfere with pregnancy, so women who want to conceive a baby should avoid them.
Surgery (In case of rectovaginal endometriosis & fibroids only)
Surgery can be performed in case of endometriosis and fibroids.
Surgery, like laparoscopy can be used for endometriosis, if hormonal treatment doesn’t work. Here, a surgeon looks inside the body using a camera, and removes as many adhesions of endometriosis as possible.
However, these lesions tend to grow back so this may not be as effective.
Myomectomy can be used to remove fibroids. Here, again a surgeon inserts instruments through the vagina and cervix and removes the fibroids. Sometimes, complications may occur after myomectomy.
Medication for Constipation
If constipation is what is causing your rectal pain, you can try taking medications for them. Some are available as over the counter, while others need to be prescribed.
These medications include laxatives that can be taken to improve bowel movement. Stool softeners are also available like calace and surfak that help soften the stool.
It’s good to acknowledge that excessive use of these medicines should be avoided as they can have long-term effects like dehydration, internal organ damage, or even increase constipation!
Nothing can beat some homely treatment for any kind of pain.
So, let’s dive into some of these remedies.
Take a Warm Shower
Warmth can help reduce pain and improve blood flow. Filling your bathtub with warm water or spraying your anal region with warm water can effectively relive the pain.
Use Hot Bag or Cold Compress
As already mentioned, warmth has beneficial effects in case of pain.
But, so does cold. Applying cold packs can reduce pain and also swelling of any sort. Regardless, they should not be used for prolonged periods, better to apply them within time intervals.
Massages generally help to soothe the muscles and remove pain.
Abdomen massages for constipation and period pain are available that can help reduce rectal pain.
Whether for period pain, constipation or any other reason, eating healthy can make any condition less severe.
For your case, try eating light and nutritious meals. Meals rich in vitamins, calcium or omega-3-fatty acids can help fight period pain, and thus rectal pain during periods.
For constipation, fiber rich foods are recommended.
Can rectal pain be due to cancer?
Yes, rectal pain can be due to cancer. The symptoms will include changes in bowel habits, blood in stool, weakness, abdominal pain, and unusual weight loss.
Can regular exercise relieve pain?
Definitely! Regular exercise along with yoga, releases endorphins in our body. These hormones can help reduce any pain associated with periods.
Does period pain increase with age?
In some women, period pains can increase after the age of 40. Although, it’s not the case in all women. Periods can get a little unpredictable after 40s. They can get more frequent or lessen. For some women, period pains are worse before their 20s.
Well, that’s it then.
If all is read and understood, you should know rectal pain during periods is totally normal!
This article provided many reasons for which this pain may occur, along with treatments and home remedies that can help reduce the pain.
Now, from next time, you should not hesitate opening up about rectal pains during periods to anybody. You never know, they may be facing the same thing!