Help! I saw blood on the toilet paper after I wiped – what should I do!?

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Q: Help! I saw bright red blood on the toilet paper after I wiped.  What should I do!? 

Short A: Come in to see us so we can check it out.

Long A: Don’t panic. We see this all the time at Student Health and it’s rarely as scary as it looks.  You’re probably dealing with a hemorrhoid: a very common, and literal, pain in the butt. 

Hemorrhoids are abnormally swollen veins in the rectum or anus that bleed with minor pressure, such as that which occurs from bowel movements.  They can be painful or painless depending on their location, and are often associated with rectal pain and itching, a lump that you can feel and/or rectal bleeding. 

Risk factors for developing hemorrhoids include

  • Poor fiber intake
  • Prolonged sitting or standing
  • Being overweight
  • Pregnancy
  • Chronic constipation or diarrhea
  • Engaging in anal sex

When you come to the Student Health Center, we will ask you a lot of embarrassing questions and do an embarrassing examination to rule out other more serious causes of rectal bleeding such as infections, inflammatory bowel disease, anal fissures and even (rarely) colon cancer.  Since some hemorrhoids are located a few inches inside the rectal canal, we may have to use a small, lubricated, clear plastic tube called an anoscope to look on the inside.

The mainstay of hemorrhoid treatment (and prevention) is fiber, fiber, fiber.  Most of us don’t get enough fiber in our diet, which leads to constipation, which leads to straining to have a bowel movement, which leads to increased pressure in the rectal veins which… you get the idea.  Supplementing your diet with soluble fiber supplements (Metamucil or Benefiber) will work wonders for this problem.  Other things you can do include:

  • Avoid straining and prolonged sitting on the toilet
  • Lose weight if necessary
  • Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water per day
  • Exercise regularly
  • Gently clean the anal area with soft, moistened paper after each bowel movement and avoid the urge to scratch – as an old family doctor once told me: “Wipe, don’t polish!”

Again, while it can certainly be scary, rectal bleeding is rarely a sign of a life-threatening condition.  But if it happens to you, be sure to see your health care provider to make sure it isn’t, especially if the bleeding is dark brown or black, is heavy, you feel weak or light-headed, or the pain gets suddenly a lot worse.

 

John A. Vaughn, MD
Student Health Services
The Ohio State University

133 thoughts on “Help! I saw blood on the toilet paper after I wiped – what should I do!?

  1. I was constipated for over 4 days today I went to the restroom and it was painful. when I looked in the toilet there was a significant amount of blood with the feces I also have ulcerative colitis could this possibly just be a flare up or something more serious?

  2. Thanks for letting me know that I will be subjected to embarrassing questions and tormented by an even more embarrassing examination. Can’t wait to call my physician now.

  3. whenever I go to the toilets it hurts and when i wipe i find blood on the tissue paper. pleases help, i try to go to the toilet twice a day and such always happen and make me not to wanna go to the toilet again as my anus will be hot and painful.

  4. Hi, I’m a 12 yr old female who hasn’t had her period yet. After, I urinated I wiped and noticed there was blood on the toilet paper. However, none in the urine itself. Since, I hadn’t had my period yet, I thought that could be the case so, I looked up symptoms and what I had was not in there. My boobs have grown for a few years and I’ve discharge. So, I left it alone, but it happened every time I urinated and I kept getting more worried. What should I do now?

    • I am overweight and had no serious accidents or anything. Also the blood is coming from my vagina. Plz help

    • Do you have an adult female you could consult, perhaps your mother? It could still be your period. Periods are not the same for everyone and not everyone has symptoms. I know it can be intimidating and even a bit embarrassing, but ask an adult female. If it’s not your period, you should consult a doctor.

  5. There A Possibility I Might Be Pregnant I Haven’t Had My Period In A Month and Amost a Half And I Recently Went To The Restroom To Do #2 and When I Wiped There Was Blood .. I’m Wondering if I Am Preganant Will The Baby Be Okay ?

    • Have you had your pregnancy confirmed? You will definitely want to first determine if you are indeed pregnant and if so, then schedule an appointment with an OB to get things checked out.

  6. I told my mom and see was going to call the doctor because the white sticky stuff came out of me (not clear) and when I wipe blood is in the tissue but when I pes no blood

  7. Thank you!!!!!! I was scared to death for days wiping and seeing blood. I thought oh my God I have cancer or something horrible. Then I read your article and I fit a few on the list. I recently had back surgery and have been sitting a lot, I don’t eat enough fiber, I don’t drink enough water, I have been constipated for weeks..etc. I cannot thank enough for whomever put this up for people not to think the worst. Bless your hearts and your research you guys do at Ohio. – Tracey

  8. What happens if i bleed every few times i wipe but its light blood but when ever i wipe i feel a bump from my hole and i dont know what it is can someone help me

  9. Okay so I am 13 and recently there has been a pain (going to help you locate where) about “that body part” all the way to the right. I brushed it off because I always do that when I feel pain and it went away. Today I swam for three hours and went pee (after I got out) wiped and there was blood. I’m like oh great my period so I put toilet paper in my underwear and walk out the bathroom like a boss to a two hour dinner. I did this because my mom would be completely weird about me getting my period she would be like OH MY GOD *excited voice* but anyways I go to dinner and I check twice and there is no blood on the toilet paper so I’m like wtf that’s weird I go pee no blood when I wipe I’m like wtf and than we go home I change into pajamas I go pee (hour after dinner) I wipe and instead of having to wipe once there is so much blood I have to wipe three times!!! At this point I’m pissed because I can’t ask my mom wtf is going on so I’m asking you guys there is no more pain on my right side or when I go pee which is why it probabley is not a uti. Also I haven’t showered today or yesterday so I haven’t gone by the area and it can’t be caused by the pool that pool is as clean as holy water. So I’m just bleeding after I wipe but since it is increasing every time I do it is it my period? It doesn’t hurt at all not one bit no other symptoms I exercised and drank tons of water today and yesterday I just don’t know just tell me your advise I will probabley give it one more day and see if it passes also the blood is a medium dark red blood color like it’s not light not dark medium.

    • Sorry I wrote in such a teenager voice I sound really stupid. To add on I did not bleed when I wiped at the dinner I didn’t make that clear sorry. Also I’m a very clean person I rareley skip a shower like that

  10. I have a bad liver caused by drinking and I get dizzy and vomit and now I have blood coming out when I poop and whip I am scared to go to doctor I don’t want them to tell me I am dieing

    • Maybe they will tell you it’s just hemorrhoids or it’s nothing at all. Or maybe they will tell you that its a good thing you came in because what you have is treatable. Go to the doctor – that’s the only way to know for sure.

  11. I’m 16, I was playing battlefield and needed to #2, so I got up, went to my toilet, it was a very big urge, it was hurting my stomach. This could have been caused by the amounts of energy drinks I’m drinking lately. anyway, once I started… You know, saying it makes me feel stupid… Anyhow, I started ‘pushing’ and it hurt, not too much, but it hurt for like, two seconds. Once it came out, more followed. The followers didn’t hurt. I wiped and dropped the toilet paper. I normally wipe twice and on the second, look at the toilet paper to see if there’s any remains. But, when I looked, there was blood on the toilet paper. After just staring at it for about 7 seconds, I stood up and looked in the toilet, the first piece of toilet paper had blood on it also. And yea… Don’t know what to do. I don’t want to go to someone for help because I just can’t do it. I’m scared to be put into embarrassing situations. I can’t tell my dad either.

    • Keep an eye on it. If the bleeding continues, then it could be something serious and you’ll need to tell your dad.

      • Alright, it feels like there’s still something there, but I’ve wiped a LOT and nothing is on the toilet paper ;(

  12. I am 15 and it has been about under a week since I have started to hurt when I poo and when I wipe there is a small amount of blood. How can I treat this without going to a doctor?

  13. I don’t feel comfortable to put my problems up here.. I would really love to personally email someone about it….

  14. I’m 15 this morning I woke up and went to the bathroom when I peed there was no blood but my underwear had drops of blood and my period stop like 2 or 4 weeks ago this month and when I wiped my self there’s was light blood and I was doing some research and I can find anything so I asked my mom and she doesn’t know about it and my heart is beating super fast in fears what should I do please help

  15. This is happening to me too. I went to the washroom and went I wipe thereally was blood. Would this mean I’m getting my period, I’m only 13. After I looked in he toilet and there was a puddle of blood. Later on I wet to check if there was any blood on my underwear and there wasn’t but when I sat on the toilet blood kept coming out I have no idea what is happened and I’m freaking out. I’m scared please help.

  16. I drink 6 to 10 beers when I get off work around 5-6ish and on the weekends I drink more with friends, beers and hard liquor.. I’ve seen blood on my toilet paper about 2 times a year but it goes away after the first bowel movement, this time I had it 3 times in the same day. I originally thought it was hemroids but I never got any examanition from a doctor, now this happend and I’m looking for answers, could it be I’m drinking too much? Is it just hemroids? Colon cancer? Anyone have this same problem?

  17. Alright, I’m a 14 year old female, I just wiped and there was blood, but a small amount. I wiped again and there wasn’t anymore. Nothing really hurts.
    I don’t have a doctor? Do you think I’ll be fine iust leaving it be and doing nothing? I’m not close enough to my mom to talk to her about anything and I’m very shy so I want to stay away from anything embarrassing.
    Also, I’m on vacation for another 3 weeks and I wouldn’t be able to see a doctor or anything.

  18. I’m 14 and I recently went to the the toilet and my wee was normal colour but when I wiped it was full but it’s not near my bum that is bleeding and it feels painful in certain areas around my front parts but it’s worry and there is a lot of blood help me???

    • This really requires an appointment with a doctor. There are a lot of questions that need to be asked to determine the cause of the blood and the course of action that should be taken.

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