Painless Rectal Bleeding Symptoms, Causes & Common Questions

Understand your painless rectal bleeding symptoms, including 7 causes and common questions.

This symptom can also be referred to as: painless bleeding when pooping

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  1. 7 Possible Painless Rectal Bleeding Causes
  2. Real-Life Stories
  3. Questions Your Doctor May Ask
  4. Statistics
  5. Related Articles

7 Possible Painless Rectal Bleeding Causes

The list below shows results from the use of our quiz by Buoy users who experienced painless rectal bleeding. This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.


Hemorrhoids, also known as piles, are swollen veins in your anus and lower rectum that can cause pain, itching, and rectal bleeding. Hemorrhoids may be seen or felt on the outside of the anus (external) or may be hidden from view inside of the rectum.

Hemorrhoids are common occurring in 10 million Am...

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Chronic or recurrent hemorrhoids

Chronic, or recurrent, hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the anus and rectum that never really resolve and may be symptomatic more or less constantly.

Hemorrhoids are caused by anything that puts pressure on the anus from the inside, such as straining during bowel movements; constipation; pregnancy; or anal intercourse.

Most susceptible are pregnant women and older people, though anyone can be affected.

Symptoms include a small amount of bleeding during or after a bowel movement, as well as discomfort, itching, or swelling around the anus.

A medical provider can suggest treatment to ease the symptoms of chronic hemorrhoids, as well as make certain of the diagnosis since other, more serious conditions can have symptoms similar to hemorrhoids.

Diagnosis is made through patient history and physical examination.

Treatment most often involves simple lifestyle changes such as drinking more water; adding fiber-rich foods to the diet; using fiber supplements and stool softeners; not delaying, or straining, to pass a bowel movement; and using topical medications. Surgical procedures to remove the hemorrhoid can be used in some cases.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: rectal bleeding, rectal pain, pain when passing stools, anal itching, painless rectal bleeding

Symptoms that never occur with chronic or recurrent hemorrhoids: unintentional weight loss

Urgency: Self-treatment

Lower gastrointestinal bleeding

The digestive, or gastrointestinal (GI), tract includes the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, rectum, and anus. Lower gastrointestinal bleeding refers to internal bleeding from the large intestine, rectum, or anus, usually caused by hemorrhoids, ischemic bowel disease, or inflammatory bowel disease.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: rectal bleeding, severe rectal bleeding, moderate rectal bleeding

Urgency: Emergency medical service

Painless Rectal Bleeding Symptom Checker

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Colonic neoplasm

Colonic neoplasm means "new tissue" growing in the colon, or large intestine. This neoplasm may be either benign (not cancerous) or malignant (cancer.)

The exact cause of any cancer remains unknown. Risk factors seem to be:

Being over fifty years of age.

  • Family history of the disease.
  • A high-fat, low-fiber diet, typical in the modern world
  • Chronic inflammatory diseases of the colon such as Crohn's disease.
  • Smoking and alcohol use.
  • Diabetes, obesity, and inactivity.

The earliest symptoms are usually polyps, small growths within the colon which can be detected on colonoscopy and removed before they can become cancerous. Later symptoms may be unexplained fatigue; change in bowel habits; persistent abdominal discomfort such as gas or cramps; blood in stool; or rectal bleeding.

Diagnosis is made through colonoscopy and sometimes blood testing.

Treatment is done through surgery, which may be minor or extensive; and through chemotherapy with radiation therapy, usually done before and after surgery. Supportive care to keep the patient comfortable is also an important part of treatment.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: fatigue, stomach bloating, stool changes, diarrhea, constipation

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Chronic constipation

Constipation is a very common condition affecting the large intestine. It is characterized by difficulty passing stool, or passing stool less often. Commonly it is linked to not eating enough dietary fiber, not drinking enough fluids, or not getting enough exercise. Some medications can cause constipation as well.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: stomach bloating, constipation, abdominal cramps (stomach cramps), pain when passing stools, rectal bleeding

Symptoms that always occur with chronic constipation: constipation

Symptoms that never occur with chronic constipation: unintentional weight loss

Urgency: Primary care doctor


Genetic gastrointestinal issue that increases the number of polyps in the gastrointestinal tract

Rarity: Ultra rare

Top Symptoms: diarrhea, constipation, general abdominal pain, fatigue, rectal bleeding

Urgency: Primary care doctor


Diverticulosis is the common condition of small, sac-like pouches forming and pushing outward along the inside of the colon, called diverticula. With diverticulosis, there may be changes in bowel movement patterns as well as severe abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, or rectal bl...

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Real-life Stories

Once your story is reviewed and approved by our editors, it will live on Buoy as a helpful resource for anyone who may be dealing with something similar. If you want to learn more, try Buoy Assistant.

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Painless Rectal Bleeding

To diagnose this condition, your doctor would likely ask the following questions:

  • Have you had any changes in your weight?
  • Do you have a history of constipation?
  • Have you ever been diagnosed with cancer?
  • Do you currently smoke?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions

Painless Rectal Bleeding Symptom Checker

Take a quiz to find out what might be causing your painless rectal bleeding

Painless Rectal Bleeding Symptom Checker Statistics

People who have experienced painless rectal bleeding have also experienced:

  • 10% Abdominal Pain (Stomach Ache)
  • 5% Rectal Bleeding
  • 4% Fatigue

People who have experienced painless rectal bleeding were most often matched with:

  • 77% Lower Gastrointestinal Bleeding
  • 11% Hemorrhoids
  • 11% Chronic Or Recurrent Hemorrhoids

People who have experienced painless rectal bleeding had symptoms persist for:

  • 33% Less than a day
  • 29% Over a month
  • 23% Less than a week

Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from Buoy Assistant (a.k.a. the quiz).

Painless Rectal Bleeding Symptom Checker

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