ZocdocAnswersWhat would cause blood in my stool?

Question

What would cause blood in my stool?

Noticed some red, bloody streaks and spots in my stool for the last two days. No other symptoms. Is this something to be worried about? What might be causing this?

Answer

Blood in the stool is always something that should be discussed with your doctor. Red blood in the stool usually comes from somewhere in the lower bowel. These areas include the colon, rectum, or anus. The most common cause of blood streaks in the stool is bleeding hemorrhoids. These are blood vessels in and around the anus that can get engorged with blood. When this happens they can bleed when you have a hard or large bowel movement. Sometimes there is very little blood in the stool, but blood is noticed on the toilet paper when you wipe. The first step for this problem is the use of a stool softener. Blood coming from the rectum is also possible, though causes of this kind of bleeding are often very painful. Bleeding from the colon is usually too slow to produce blood that can be seen. I think your next best move should be to schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. He or she can listen to your description of your bleeding. You will also need an examination of your anus and rectum. If you have this problem persistently, then you may need referral to a gastroenterologist who can perform a colonoscopy to look for the source of bleeding. Good luck.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.