Solitary rectal ulcer syndrome


Solitary rectal ulcer syndrome (SRUS) is a rare condition where one or more painful sores, known as ulcers, develop in the rectum. The rectum is a muscular tube that connects the colon to the anus, and it allows stool to pass out of the body. SRUS usually affects people who have chronic constipation, and it can cause rectal bleeding and difficulty passing stools.

Rectal ulcers can also occur in people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, as well as those who strain or push too hard during bowel movements. These ulcers are painful and can cause discomfort, bleeding, and difficulty passing stools.

Lifestyle changes such as diet modifications and drinking more fluids may help improve SRUS, but severe cases may require surgery. It’s important to see a doctor if you experience symptoms of rectal ulcers, as they can be related to serious underlying conditions such as IBD.


Solitary rectal ulcer syndrome may present with various signs and symptoms, which may include:

  • Uncontrolled passing of stool
  • Pain and bleeding of the rectum
  • Clearing your rectum of mucous
  • Pain while having a bowel movement.
  • Pelvic pain or a sense of fullness
  • A sense of incomplete bowel movement
  • Constipation

It is important to note that some individuals with this condition may not experience any noticeable symptoms.

If you are experiencing any concerning signs or symptoms, it’s important to schedule an appointment with your doctor. There are various other conditions that may have similar signs and symptoms to solitary rectal ulcer syndrome. During your appointment, your doctor may suggest tests and procedures to diagnose or eliminate other potential causes besides solitary rectal ulcer syndrome.


Solitary rectal ulcer syndrome’s exact cause is often unclear. However, medical professionals speculate that rectal ulcers may develop due to stress or damage to the rectum.
Among the potential causes of rectus injury are:

  • Difficulty passing constipated or firm rectum stools (impacted stool)
  • Pain while having a bowel movement.
  • An extended rectum that protrudes from the anus (rectal prolapse)
  • The rectum’s blood flow is slowed by the pelvic floor muscles contracting erratically.
  • Manual removal of the affected stool
  • When an intestine slides within another intestine (intussusception)

Risk factors

Inflammatory bowel disease can affect both adults and children, although it’s commonly diagnosed in people in their 30s. Straining during bowel movements due to constipation can cause rectal ulcers in people of any age. Solitary rectal ulcer syndrome is more prevalent among young adults, but it can also occur in children.