Rectal problems, including constipation, pain, leaking of stool, or anal injury, may be caused by physical or sexual abuse that injures the abdominal or rectal area. An injury to the vagina or rectum, or injury to the abdomen, back, or lower spine can prevent normal bowel movements.
Home treatment is not appropriate for rectal problems that are caused by abuse. Unreported abuse is likely to continue and will usually get worse. You may feel uneasy if your doctor brings up the issue of abuse. Health professionals have a professional duty and legal obligation to evaluate the possibility of abuse.
If you think your child has been abused, there are resources available to help. Adults need to protect young children because children cannot protect themselves.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerWilliam H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerDavid Messenger, BSc, MD, FRCPC, FCCP - Emergency Medicine, Critical Care Medicine