This is a great question. It is very important that you make an appointment with your primary care doctor
to discuss your symptoms and have a full history and physical done. Depending on what your doctor discovers during your visit, he or she may order additional testing such as lab work (to check your blood counts to make sure you don't have anemia, stool studies, or refer you to a gastroenterologist
for a colonoscopy
. You are correct in that the most likely cause of occasional bright red anal bleeding is usually a small tear in the rectum or anus called a fissure. Bright red blood can also be caused by hemorrhoids. To avoid both of these conditions it is important to keep your bowel movements soft and regular. This can be achieved by drinking a lot of water (at least 8 cups a day), regular exercise and eating a healthy diet high in fiber. You may need to take an over the counter stool softener occasionally if you get constipated. Colon and rectal cancer can also definitely cause rectal bleeding so it is very important to review your family history and depending on your age be screened. Again, it is very important to make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible.