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Since fissures are tears in the lining of the anus, symptoms may include sharp or stinging pain during and after bowel movements that lasts several minutes or hours. It is normal for bleeding to occur with anal fissures, though it is typically only noticeable as a few bright red spots on the toilet paper or a few drops of blood in the toilet. Sometimes, anal fissures may also cause the sphincter muscle around the anus to spasm

Anal fissures are caused by a trauma to the anal area, which may occur in one of many different ways. The most common causes of anal fissures are related to bowel problems, such as constipation, diarrhea or passing large stools. In these cases, fissures may be prevented and kept from worsening by drinking plenty of water and eating a fiber-rich diet. Keep in mind that once you have one anal fissure, you are more likely to develop additional ones in the future.

If you have an anal fissure that is not healing on its own, it may be time to see a doctor for medical treatment. Most anal fissures are easily diagnosed during an exam. In some cases, a tiny lighted probe may be used to diagnose an internal fissure. If possible, your doctor will treat the fissure by recommending a high fiber diet, exercise and frequent sitz baths. Other interventions may be necessary to help reduce inflammation, relax the sphincter muscle, and increase blood flow to the area to promote healing. When conservative treatment measures fail, surgery may be necessary – particularly if your symptoms are severe.