What is Rectal Discharge?

Rectal discharge is a substance other than feces and blood that oozes out of the rectum. The substance is mainly pus or mucus that is noticeable either in stool or undergarment. Rectal discharge occurs as a result of many conditions such as infections and inflammatory disorders.

Symptoms associated with Rectal Discharge:

Rectal discharge is associated with other signs and symptoms such as:

  • Gastrointestinal signs and symptoms: Abdominal pain or cramps, abdominal bloating, constipation, diarrhea, watery diarrhea, change in bowel habits, flatulence, burning sensation, bloody stools, loss of bowel control, the urge to pass stool, rectal pain, rectal tenderness, rectal malodor, itchiness, and perianal redness and swelling.
  • Other signs and symptoms include: pain in the lower back or pelvic area, high temperature, weakness, rash, joint pain, stain on the undergarment, and feeling damp around the anal area.
  • Conditions that are considered an emergency are when rectal discharge is accompanied by high fever, bloody stools, watery diarrhea, and loss of bladder and bowel control.

Reasons that Trigger Rectal Discharge:

Rectal discharge occurs due to many medical conditions:

  • Sexually transmitted infections such as syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and herpes.
  • Food-borne infections caused by bacteria such as salmonella, shigella, and campylobacteria; viral infections such as norovirus; and parasites.
  • Inflammatory bowel diseases – it is the chronic inflammation of the lower gastrointestinal tract. There are two main types: Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Crohn’s disease can affect anywhere from mouth to anus whereas ulcerative colitis affects the colon.
  • Irritable bowel syndrome – a chronic disease of the large intestine that causes an alteration of bowel movements.
  • Anal abscess – boil/ pus in perianal region.
  • Anal fissurea tear that develops in the lining of the anus.
  • Anal fistulaan abnormal cavity/track that forms between the end of the bowel and the perianal skin.
  • Rectal prolapse – a portion of the rectum that protrudes from the anus.


  • Hemorrhoids – swollen veins protruding out of the anus or inside the anal canal.
  • Fecal impaction – a condition in which large feces gets stuck in the rectum or colon due to chronic constipation or other reasons.
  • Anal cancer.
  • Tuberculosis proctitis – the inflamed lining of the rectum infected by mycobacterium tuberculosis.
  • Anal warts (caused by human papillomavirus)
  • Colorectal polyp.
  • Diversion colitis – inflammation of the colon that occurs as a result of a complication of a surgery such as colostomy or ileostomy.
  • Pneumatosis Cystoides Intestinalis – a rare disease that presents with several gas-filled cysts in the wall of the small intestine.
  • Food intolerance
  • Medication side effects
  • The emergency conditions that require urgent medical attention include sexually transmitted diseases, inflammatory bowel diseases, neurological damage, and formation of an abscess.

For better diagnosis and treatment, consult the best proctologist in India to receive the best anorectal treatment at Shreyas Ano Rectal Hospital and Research Center.