Oops, I Ripped My... Butthole? – Your Guide to Anal Fissures

01 May, 2020

You can shred some waves on a surfboard, rip the fabric of space and time (can we do that yet? idk, ask Neil Degrasse Tyson), and apparently tear your butthole. I learned the hard way.

Shocking. But don’t fear the tear! Today, we are here to walk you through anal fissures so you are well-equipped if you ever meet the same fate.

Anal fissures are tears in the lining of your anal canal that make poos very painful… and potentially a little bloody. *SCREAMS* While not serious, they are seriously sh*tty and can make you loathe going to the bathroom like Madonna loathes hydrangeas. 

Anal Fissure Causes

These rips in your lower rectum can be created by a number of things, including taking a big ol’ sh*t (not joking), being constipated, repeated diarrhea, giving literal birth, or engaging in anal sex improperlyPro tip: Use lube. Lots of lube. And if it doesn’t work, don’t do it.

Here is a list of common causes for anal fissures:

  • Passing a Large Stool
  • Childbirth
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
  • Anal Intercourse
  • Chronic Diarrhea 
  • Constipation and straining during bowel movements

Less common causes of anal fissures include:

  • Crohn's disease or another inflammatory bowel disease
  • Anal cancer
  • HIV
  • Tuberculosis
  • Syphilis

Anal Fissure Symptoms

It’s really not rocket science. You will know if you have a tear in your asshole the moment it happens. But in the event you aren’t sure, here are a few tell-tale signs that you’ve got an anal fissure or two.  

Blood on Toilet Paper After Wiping

There is nothing more alarming than seeing a bright red blood spot on the tp when you wipe after a particularly painful BM. Bleeding in small amounts, itching, and a smelly discharge may occur due to the pus from the fissure. If you wipe and see small spots of blood, there is a chance anal fissures are present. 

Blood In Stool

Remember when I said there is nothing more alarming than seeing blood on your toilet paper? Well, I lied. Seeing blood in your poop is by far the most horrifying thing that can happen when you have an anal fissure. This blood will be bright red and show up on the outside of your stool. If you see darker blood, you should consult a doctor. 

Pain During or After a Bowel Movement

The excruciating pain. People often describe it as burning or tearing pain with a bowel movement. Yea, we won’t sugar coat it. That shit hurts. Literally. And the pain can be quick or it can last indefinitely. It usually subsides between poops. The pain can be so severe that people try their hardest not to poop, resulting in constipation and even fecal impaction. And THAT can lead to passing harder and larger poops. It’s like a vicious cycle.  The pain also can affect urination by causing discomfort when urinating, frequent urination, or the inability to urinate. Honestly, it’s an all-around mess. 

A Crack In the Skin Around the Anus

We have always been a supporter of checking out your b-hole every now and then just to make sure it’s looking up to snuff. Anal fissures are all the more reason to have a peek at what’s going on down there. If you see any dry cracks in the skin around your anus, that is most likely an anal fissure. 

Signs a Fissure Is Healing

Luckily, typical anal fissures should heal within a few days or weeks. Although some souls’ holes do persist for longer, in which case you should go to the doctor to make sure everything is A(ss)-Okay. Here is how you can tell that your fissures are healing. 

Anal Fissure Treatment

If you’ve got an anal fissure, treat your butt kindly. Don’t wipe with toilet paper (use a bidet), eat high-fiber foods for loose poops, and maybe whisper encouragements to your friend below. The latter is not medically proven, but it might help. Here are a few other treatments that can help alleviate an anal fissure.

Topical Anesthetics

Topical anesthetics are recommended especially before you poop to limit the pain. Often, a small amount of a steroid is combined in the anesthetic cream to reduce inflammation. The use of steroids should be limited to two weeks because longer uses can cause even more issues.

Nitroglycerin Cream

Because of the possibility that spasm of the internal sphincter and reduced flow of blood to the sphincter play roles in the formation and healing of anal fissures, ointments with the muscle relaxant, nitroglycerin (glyceryl trinitrate), have been tried and found to be effective in healing anal fissures. The dose of nitroglycerin often is limited by side effects. The usual side effects are headache or light-headedness. 

Anal Fissure Surgery (Fissurectomy)

In cases where anal fissures are more severe, surgical treatment, such as fissurectomy, may be necessary. The fissurectomy procedure relieves the anal sphincter muscles by cutting from the internal sphincter to the interior anal canal. Fun! While symptoms may be relieved immediately from a fissurectomy, recurrence rates of fissures are higher.

Wrapping Things Up

Anal fissures can happen to anyone and it’s nothing to fret over. As long as you can diagnose the issue and notice the symptoms, you should be able to easily treat it without any drastic surgical measures. You and your butthole are going to be okay.

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