For better or worse, the problem of itching around the anus is a very common one. While you may find it embarassing, your doctor
is very accustomed to discussing this (and even more personal issues!) with his or her patients. From the brief description that your provide of itching that is occassionally painful and is sometimes worse after a bowel movement, it is quite likely that you have hemorrhoids
. These are very common outpouchings of the vasculature that surround the anus, which normally are nothing more than a nuisance. At times, the vessels will clot, leading to severe pain. At other times, the bacteria of the area cause a local irritation, which your brain interprets as the itching sensation. Keys to reduce the pain and the itching include meticulous hygiene, as well as frequent sitz baths when the symptoms are most bothersome. There are also many creams and wipe products which will provide some relief of symptoms for some patients. Whether the problem is hemorrhoids or something else, taking adequate fiber intake and lots of water will help you to have more regular bowel movements and may decrease your symptoms. And, finally, please find a doctor that you feel comfortable with, and please discuss this problem with him or her.