is thought to have a variety of possible causes, which
can be grouped according to:
Harmful substances –
which react harmfully with
– where the body’s defensive
systems are overactive, and attack healthy tissue,
for example inflammatory bowel disease known as IBD.
Non-sexually transmitted infection –
common form of proctitis, this is typically seen in
children, and caused by bacteria.
Sexually transmitted disease
- that can include gonorrhoea.
Side effects – where proctitis is a result of
existing medication or treatment, such as
There are a number of methods used to test for proctitis:
Examination of stool sample.
Rectal culture – laboratory tests to identify
organisms that might cause the disease.
Sigmoidoscopy – using a small tube with a camera to
examine the bottom-most end of the bowel.
Successful treatment of the underlying cause usually
cures the problem. Proctitis caused by infection is
usually treated with antibiotics.
Corticosteroids or mesalamine suppositories may
relieve symptoms of some patients.
What to expect
Proctitis sufferers can expect a good prognosis with
treatment, although this depends upon the cause of the
In some cases proctitis can be associated with
complications, such as: Anal fistula, anemia,
recto-vaginal fistula (in women) and severe bleeding.
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