Definition & Facts for Proctitis
What is proctitis?
Who is more likely to develop proctitis?
You are more likely to develop proctitis if you have
- engaged in anal sex with a person infected with a sexually transmitted disease (STD)
- infections such as STDs and foodborne illnesses
- an inflammatory bowel disease such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease
- had radiation therapy to your pelvic area or lower abdomen, due to certain types of cancers
- injured your anus or rectum
- taken certain antibiotics
Men are more likely than women to get acute proctitis. Adults are more likely than children to get acute proctitis.1
What are the complications of proctitis?
If your proctitis isn’t treated or doesn’t respond to treatment, you may have complications, including
- abscesses—painful, swollen, pus-filled areas caused by infection
- chronic or severe bleeding that can lead to anemia
- fistulas—an abnormal passage, or tunnel, between two organs or between an organ and the outside of the body
- rectal stricture—an abnormal narrowing of your rectum
- ulcers—sores in the lining of your intestines
This content is provided as a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
(NIDDK), part of the National Institutes of Health. The NIDDK translates and disseminates research findings to increase knowledge and understanding about health and disease among patients, health professionals, and the public. Content produced by the NIDDK is carefully reviewed by NIDDK scientists and other experts.