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

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

  1. I’m 11 years old and i had dark blood on my underwear and when i wiped there was blood. this happened for about 5-7 days and then stopped. just in case it was my period i marked the 25th, which is when it started. it has been about 2 months and nothing happened. is it my period or something else?

    • When you are first getting your period, it may not be regular. Some females have their periods monthly and others less regularly.

  2. Ok so I’m 11 and averedge size and weight I wiped and there was darkish red blood on the paper and so I excused it for a period but there was absolute NO signs I was going to have one and the blood kept on coming so it’s been constantly letting out blood on my undergarments! What do I do!? And I REALLY have doubts that it’s a period.

  3. Hi, I’m 15 and i weigh 115, i noticed that when i wipe i have blood but i wipe again and there isn’t any, and it only happens at random times, there isn’t any in my stool and i’ve been having bad back pains and cramps but my period ended almost two weeks ago

  4. For the past two months everytime i have a bowel movement its blood on my tissue an blood in my stool but i dont have insurance and the first time i seen it was about a year ago. What can i do? Please help im scared now.

  5. I’m 12 years old and when I pee it’s completely clear but when I wipe the toilet paper is covered in a brownish red substance

  6. Hi this is embarrassing, I’m gay and put a tube of lipstick in my rectum. It got stuck there and when I shat it out I noticed blood. I don’t wanna come out to my dad but idk what to do, please help

  7. I dont know what’s going on but yesterday when I went pee there was a lot of pain and then when I wiped my butt there was some blood. I think it might be an uti or maybe a hemorrhoid. I’m not really sure though.

  8. I;M ON BLOOD THINNER I.M 70 YEARS AND WHEN I PEE AND WIPE WHERE IS BLOOD ON THE PAPER ,NOT MUCH BUT EVERY DAY.

  9. I’ve had this happen to me before and I was freaking out but with in a week it got better and went away. It’s just in a matter of time and patience. But do keep track of what colour your blood is otherwise if not you may not be able to tell if it is bad or not.

  10. But when I had this happen to me I didn’t have any pain, but when you do have this happen to you always tell some one you trust. I was so nervous but then I told my mum and she understood she said you should be okay and if not we’ll take you to the doctors.

    I’m 13yrs old, don’t be ashamed or nervous to tell your mum 🙂

  11. i have been hurting on the lower part of my left side….seem like where my overis was or is, and it’s been going on for say 3 months, or more…it hurt when i arise from a sitting position or lying position, but when I made a step or two…it’s almost goes away….I seem to have the urge to have a BM more frequently as before….when I go, there’s a lot of gas and I may expel some fetus but not a lot and there’s bright red blood on the tissue usually and some in the stool I see. What does that sound like L
    Thank for your attention
    j.bittle

  12. I’m 12 and started my period this would be my second starting my period I saw something dark brown or red on my underwher and when I went to wipe my private there was a very light red is this my period when I first started my period it was August 22

  13. Im 13 years old 5’7 and weight 133. pounds and last night i wiped my butt 2 times the first time nothing happened the second time blood came out. i don’t feel any pain but just some itching right now. why did this happen. i’m a boy not a girl

  14. The itching is gone but i forgot to add that last night i didn’t have any poo i just wiped beacuse i felt like i didn’t wipe good enough and still had some poo on my anal.but i did not have any poo left on my anal and then the blood came out.

  15. So I slipped and fell down a hill a few days ago and now whenever I wipe bright red blood appears on my toilet paper what do I do help I’m to scared to ask for help or a doctor’s help

  16. I was just wondering and freaking out..what if i finished my period like 5 days ago and when i do poo the pee comes out like pink but i dont eat veggies?is it something bad?is it normal?

  17. I’m 13 and I’m a girl and a couple months ago I wiped and noticed just a little bit of blood, so I wiped a few more times and it was just like tiny tiny spots on the toilet paper, bright red. It doesn’t hurt, once in a while it itches but barely. I’m not sure what to think. I assure it’s not from sex or pregnancy. Hemmhoroid I’m hoping? It doesn’t seem like a big deal but i want to make sure..

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