Introduction

Rectal bleeding
Rectal bleeding

A small amount of one-off bleeding from the bottom is not usually a serious problem. But a GP can check.

Check if you're bleeding from the bottom

You might be bleeding from the bottom if you have:

  • blood on your toilet paper
  • red streaks on the outside of your poo
  • pink water in the toilet bowl
  • blood in your poo or bloody diarrhoea
  • very dark, smelly poo (this can be blood mixed in poo)

A small amount of one-off bleeding can often go away on its own without needing treatment.

See a GP if:

  • your child has blood in their poo
  • you have had blood in your poo for 3 weeks
  • your poo has been softer, thinner or longer than normal for 3 weeks
  • you're in a lot of pain around the bottom
  • you have a pain or lump in your tummy
  • you have been more tired than usual
  • you have lost weight for no reason

Get an urgent appointment or call NHS Direct Wales on 0845 46 47 or NHS 111 if:

  • your poo is black or dark red
  • you have bloody diarrhoea for no obvious reason

NHS Direct Wales/111 will tell you what to do. They can arrange a phone call from a nurse or doctor if you need one.

Go to A&E or call 999 if:

  • you're bleeding non-stop
  • there's a lot of blood - for example, the toilet water turns red or you see large blood clots

What happens at your GP appointment

The GP will check what's causing your symptoms.

They might:

  • check your bottom (rectum) with a gloved finger
  • ask for a sample of poo for testing
  • refer you to a specialist for tests

Important

Bleeding from the bottom is sometimes a sign of bowel cancer.

This is easier to treat if it's found early, so it's important to get it checked.

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The information on this page has been adapted by NHS Wales from original content supplied by NHS Choices.
Last Updated: 01/10/2019 10:48:29