Painful bowel movements

Overview

Painful bowel movements are extremely common. Another term is dyschezia.

Possible causes

Most common causes include constipation, anal fissures and irritable bowel syndrome.

Severe endometriosis can cause scarring, tethering and inflammation around the rectum.

If you have severe endometriosis, you may suffer from dyschezia which is cyclical and occurs around the time of menstruation. You may also have severe dysmenorrhoea (extremely painful periods) and dyspareunia (pain with deep intercourse).

How we can help

If you are experiencing painful bowel movements and would like to talk to us about how we can help, please feel free to contact us. You can also request an appointment online.

Further information

Conditions

Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a common disorder that affects many women in New Zealand. It occurs when endometrial tissue, which should only be found in the uterus, also grows outside the uterus, such as on ovaries or the bowel. This can be very painful and is why women with endometriosis usually have pain around the same time as their period. Find out more

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

People with IBS may have cramping abdominal pain, diarrhoea and constipation. Symptoms can alternate in the same patient, with periods of both loose bowel motions and constipation. Many will get painful bloating, and in some women this will get worse before their period. Find out more

Procedures

Endometriosis resection

This entails keyhole surgery, where a camera is placed through the bellybutton to view the pelvis. The abdomen and pelvis are carefully explored, and abnormal tissue removed. Cysts may also be removed from the ovaries. Find out more

Hysterectomy

A hysterectomy is when a woman's uterus is removed. This may be because methods to stop heavy bleeding are not successful, side effects of medications are intolerable, fibroids are problematic or endometriosis is severe enough that a more permanent solution is required. Find out more

Mirena

A mirena is a small plastic device placed inside the uterus with small strings extending out through the cervix. In addition to being used for contraception, mirena can be used to treat endometriosis. Find out more

Treatment for IBS

IBS treatment will depend on the triggers that have been identified and may include: dietary help with FODMAPs; probiotics and occasionally specialized antibiotics; help to deal with stress; or medications that alter the way nerves transmit pain.