Healthy lives for young people
STIs

Proctitis

Proctitis means soreness and swelling (inflammation) of the rectum, which is the passage that carries faeces (poo) out of the body. It is not a sexually transmitted infection (STI) but can be caused by STIs.

Signs and symptoms of proctitis

Proctitis can occur in men and women, and is more common in people who have anal sex.

Proctitis symptoms may be temporary or longer-term and may include:

  • Pain during a bowel movement (going for a poo)
  • Soreness in your anal area
  • Feeling like you haven’t completely emptied your bowels
  • Spasms or cramping during bowel movements

Causes of proctitis

There are many causes of proctitis but sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhoea, syphilis, herpes, genital warts and chlamydia are the most common.

Other causes may include:

Testing for proctitis

Proctitis diagnosis will depend on what is suspected to have caused it. If it’s not caused by a STI, you may require further tests with a specialist.

This may include a procedure that involves inserting a camera into the rectum to examine the surface. As part of this, the doctor may take a small piece of tissue from your rectum or a sample of discharge for testing.

Please be aware that you can be tested and treated for proctitis at your nearest GP surgery or at GUM or sexual health clinics. Find your nearest using our find a service tool. Brook services do not offer testing or treatment for proctitis but if we think you may have proctitis, we will always do our best to advise you on where you can go for further help.

Treatment for proctitis

Because proctitis is generally caused by STIs, treatment will focus on dealing with the STI.

Although not all cases of proctitis are caused by an STI, it is possible to pass it on during sex so it is recommended that you don’t have sex until it has cleared up.

TELL YOUR PREVIOUS PARTNERS

It is important that you tell your current and any recent sexual partners (last six months) if you are being treated for an STI, so that they go for treatment too.

Some clinics may also offer to contact your partner using what’s called a ‘contact slip’. This is to warn them they may have been exposed and to recommend they get tested and it doesn’t mention your name.

  • ON THIS PAGE

    Other Stuff you might find useful…

    Real Story
    Herpes: Gemma’s story
    STIs
    Info
    Free STI home testing kits in England
    STIs
    Info
    Six reasons why you should get tested
    STIs
    Info
    Getting tested for STIs
    STIs
    Info
    Do I have an STI?
    STIs
    Info
    Dental dams
    STIs
    Info
    Mycoplasma genitalium (MG)
    STIs
    Info
    Hepatitis
    STIs
    Info
    Genital warts
    STIs
    Info
    Syphilis
    STIs

    400+ FREE CLINICS & SERVICES ALL OVER THE UK

    Find a Service near you

    100% FREE & CONFIDENTIAL