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

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

  1. Hi, today this morning I had the same thing that happened to me . when I wiped I saw bright red blood in the toilet paper but none on the toilet. It does not hurt but I got scared because this was the first time it happens to me. I’m 18 and weight 229 lbs and my height is 5.7. I am overweight and need to be more aware of my health. And also i dont eat enough fiber so that might be the problem. Thanks this helped a lot !

  2. I am a 24 yr old female. About 2 weeks ago, after urinating I went to wipe and found light, bright red blood on the toilet paper, enough to cover the entire paper. It wasn’t in the urine, only on the toilet paper. I went to wipe again, but didn’t see anything more.
    It only happened this one time. No pain. It had been 1 week since my last period and my periods have ALWAYS been very REGULAR. And I had intercourse about 5 days before this happened.

    What can this be? Should I get it checked? I’m not sure how serious I should take it.

  3. Hi I am 30 year old since a week I had this problem dark blood and I can tell u the pain in my anus it’s like some body put a knife in my anus what can I do i am a gay I do anal sex please tell me what can I do tell me some medicen

  4. so i have had discharge since august, and it’s almost December. I’ve had brown discharge twice, and today i went to the bath room and saw darkish-blood when i wiped, after that i had regular discharge, so i don’t know why that happen or what it means, i don’t know if it is this, it was a medium sized amount and does not hurt.

  5. Hi my name is Nicholas I’m 18 years old, I’m 1 m 85 and I weight 86 kg. The first time I detected blood after I wiped was the first week of November, it was just that day the next time I wiped I was fine, but now I’ve noticed it again, it’s bright red and i’ve also noticed that there isn’t blood in my stool. I’m not gay and I don’t have any form of anal penetration, my rectum doesn’t hurt nor does it itch I don’t think i’m overweight. What should i do?

    • Nicholas, It’s best to schedule an appointment with your doctor to get things checked out. It might be nothing, but then again it might be not. Best to know for sure.

  6. Watery blood comes out if my rectum at random times. I drink little water. I don’t have anal sex, I am 5 foot 7 and 105 pounds. I am 13 and a healthy weight with a lot of regular exercise. It started when I fell of a roof. I only have rip pain. It started 3 days ago/has been present for 3 days. It doesn’t hurt, or itch. It doesn’t happen when I poop.

    • It sounds like a trip to the doctor is in order. Whenever you’ve had an event – such as falling off a roof, and your body starts acting outside of what’s normal for you, then it’s time to head to the doctor. Actually, even if you don’t have an event and your body starts acting outside the norm, go see your doctor.

  7. I am 17 years old boy who took a poop and I wipes see about a ping pong size blood I’ve been light heAded since I have woken up and I have been having gas, blinding, and constipation. Please tell me what is the problem. Thanks


  8. Alright so I had this for a super long time when I wiped was about 3 years ago but it only happen once then. But now it happens all the time lot of blood to cover the paper it self Its super light red like it just came out, and only hunts when I’m passing other then that I’m fine.

    • Schedule an appointment with your doctor. You shouldn’t see blood, no matter how light and you should not be experiencing discomfort. Best to head to your doctor to rule out any serious conditions.

    • Brandy, It’s hard for me to say without knowing your history. Tell your parents or guardian. They can then assist you and better determine if a trip to the doctor is in order.

  9. I’m a 16 yr old girl and for about 2 years now whenever Im constipated or whatever I always get a hemorrhoid. It will go down after a few weeks but when I get constipated again it gets bigger. I haven’t told my parents yet and I’m scared to go to the doctor. What’s the worst thing that can happen if I don’t tell anyone?

    • A hemorrhoid is a swollen vein. It can be inside or outside the anal canal. If your hemorrhoid continues to act up, the vein wall may become weaker and weaker. Based upon your comment, the issue is really your constipation. That is what is irritating your hemorrhoid. WebMD says that the best way to prevent hemorrhoids or to keep them from getting worse is to employ healthy habits. Eat foods that have lots of fiber, such as fruits and vegetables and whole grains. Drink plenty of water and get plenty of exercise.

      And don’t be embarrassed to tell your parents. Most likely they have experienced hemorrhoids at some point in their lives and can sympathize with what you are experiencing.

      If changes in your lifestyle do not seem to be working, go to the doctor. It could be that something else is causing the hemorrhoid and you’d want to get that figured out and corrected as quickly as possible. Two years is too long to be suffering from something that could have been corrected.

  10. I always have blood on the tissue after a bowel movement, but today I noticed the water was red there was so much blood?

  11. So today i noticed after wiping i had a tiny bit of blood. It was very light. I had stomach aches this past week and couldn’t poop for like 2 days. Until i drank a cup of prune juice. I basically pooped all night well in and out of the restroom all night. It was all water and stuff. Today is the 2nd day i think since that night. I’m still pooping fluids and the blood thing happened.What can i do..

    • It could be that with the stomach ache and constipation that you strained a bit trying to get everything started which resulted in a hemorrhoid and the tiny bit of blood you saw. Keep an eye on it and if it continue, schedule an appointment with your doctor. As far as the diarrhea goes, you should see your doctor if:

      You have diarrhea for more than three days

      You have severe pain in the abdomen or rectum

      You have a fever of 102 degrees Fahrenheit or higher

      You see blood in your stool or have black, tarry stools

      You have signs of dehydration.

  12. Hi…I’m 13 male and today this morning I took my regular Poo and I noticed after I wiped there was blood on the paper…same thing happens yesterday but I wasn’t worried …but now I’m getting scared

    • Talk to your parents and let them know what’s going on. I know it might be embarrassing and sounds a bit disgusting, but next time you poo and you notice the blood, don’t flush and save the TP. Go get one of your parents and have them take a look. Better to have a bit of embarrassment and some good advice than to keep it to yourself and risk a serious health condition.

  13. I am 20 years old . Yesterday night I had a bleeding from my laterine (poo) . Whn I saw aftr wipeng there was a blood in the water . It never happend before . Today I am so affaid due to this problem . Before it has happened ,but sometimes there was a blood in the laterine (tiny) , but it has happened while ago. Plz help me out . REPLY PLZZZZ

    • Make an appointment with your doctor. If there’s enough blood that you can see it in the water, it’s best to get things checked out just to be sure.

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