Proctitis, Causes, Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention

It is the inflammation of the rectum, located in the lower part of the digestive tract.

Which connects the large intestine (colon) to the anus, where the fecal matter leaves the body. Inflammation can occur due to various causes that vary according to the rash’s symptoms and severity.

Proctitis usually responds well to treatment, except in cases caused by genital herpes, as there is currently no cure for herpes. However, in such cases, the therapy may relieve the symptoms, and the episodes tend to be milder over time.

What causes Proctitis?

Inflammatory bowel disease can affect most of the lower digestive tract and cause proctitis (ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease). A bacterial or viral infection, including dysentery, gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, and genital herpes, can cause Proctitis.

Anal sex can cause Proctitis due to injuries in the anus, rectum, or infection of sexually transmitted diseases. Uncommon causes of Proctitis include tuberculosis, amebiasis, and tissue damage due to radiation (what is known as radiation proctitis). The cause of Proctitis is sometimes unknown.

Symptoms of Proctitis

  • Painful, frequent bowel movements.
  • Efforts to defecate (tenesmus).
  • Rectal pain or bleeding, itching, and cramps.
  • Secretion with blood, pus, or mucus.
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Fever.
  • Blisters or open sores on or around the anus and rectum (due to a bacterial or viral infection)
  • Low back pain and difficulty urinating (due to genital herpes).

Diagnosis of Proctitis

The doctor can perform a proctoscopy by passing an illuminated area through the anus to allow a visual examination of the rectum. A biopsy of the lining of the colon can be taken during proctoscopy. A blood test for syphilis is taken if sexually transmitted Proctitis is suspected. Secretion of mucus or pus is grown for bacteria and examined under a microscope.


Use latex condoms during sex to reduce the risk of sexually transmitted diseases.


How to treat Proctitis

Antibiotics are prescribed to treat a bacterial infection and must be taken during the indicated period. Suppositories of corticosteroids or mesalamine (suppositories or oral tablets) may be prescribed to treat Proctitis due to inflammatory bowel disease.

Laser therapy can be performed to destroy newly formed blood vessels, which reduces inflammation and bleeding.

Treatment for herpes is aimed at relieving symptoms. An antiviral drug such as Aciclovir can be prescribed topically to reduce severity and pain and orally to decrease the duration and frequency of outbreaks. Analgesics can be taken to reduce pain and inflammation. Frequent hot baths can relieve rectal discomfort.