An anal fissure can be a painful condition and one that you certainly don’t want to repeat. Or, perhaps you want to better understand the problem and how to prevent it. In either case, knowing what can cause an anal fissure is important.
Here’s a look at what an anal fissure is, what can cause the uncomfortable condition, and what you can do to prevent an anal fissure.
As the name implies, an anal fissure is an opening in the lining of your anal canal, which is the bottom most area of your rectum where stool exits.
There are several ways in which an anal fissure can develop, and the following are among the more common:
If you have chronic constipation and you’re constantly straining to have a bowel movement, you’re more at risk for developing an anal fissure.
If you’re dehydrated and pass a particularly hard piece of stool, it can tear the lining of your anal canal on the way out. Also, eating something that your body cannot break down properly can lead to lumpier stool than normal, and these lumps can cause an anal fissure.
If your anal sphincter muscle is too tight, it can make passing stool more challenging and increase your risk for an anal fissure.
People who engage in anal sex may be more vulnerable to an anal fissure. Also, placing objects into your anus can damage the lining of your anal canal.
Once you’ve had an anal fissure, you’re more prone to developing another one because the lining may weaken after it heals.
Now that we better understand how an anal fissure can develop, you can work toward treatment and prevention.
For existing anal fissures, we recommend the following:
If your anal fissure is slow to heal, we can prescribe medications that relax your sphincter muscle to prevent constipation. If you suffer from chronic anal fissures, we can perform a sphincterotomy, which boasts a 90% success rate. This procedure allows you to better control your bowel movements and gas.
To prevent anal fissures, we recommend the following:
If you have more questions about anal fissures, please contact one of our offices in Fairfax, Fair Oaks, Alexandria, Gainesville, Woodbridge, or Lansdowne, Virginia.