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Blood in my bowel movements! Help.
Mar 24, 2002

Hello, for the past 6 months or so, i have noticed pain and slight blood in my stools (bowel movements). This is sporadic, but now, after a bowel movement, I discovered alot of blood on the toilet paper??? What should I be thinking? Is it possible that this could be an STD or HIV?

Response from Dr. Dezube

Blood in the stool (bowel movements) should always be evaluated by a health care professional. Although probably the most common cause for blood on the toilet paper is hemorrhoids, there are many many other things which blood in the stool can represent including infection, inflammation, cancer, and other diseases. The fact that you've had such blood for 6 months would indicate to me that you are way over to due for an evaluation. Knowledge is power.

I do want to explain a bit what hemorrhoids are since they are a very, very common ailment. All human beings have vein in the anal area-- that's just how the anatomy works. When these veins become swollen, then they are referred to as hemorrhoids. So a hemorrhoid is nothing more than swelling of a normal vein. Some of the most common causes of hemorrhoidal swelling are constipation and pregnancy. Hemorrhoids can be located both outside and inside the anal opening; the ones outside are called "external hemorrhoids" and the ones inside are called "internal hemorrhoids".

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