Ulcerative colitis, also known as Proctitis, is a chronic inflammation of the colon. The colon is the part of the digestive system where water is removed from undigested material, and the remaining waste material is stored. The rectum is the end of the colon adjacent to the anus. In patients with ulcerative colitis, ulcers and inflammation of the inner lining of the colon lead to symptoms of abdominal pain, diarrhea and rectal bleeding. Proctitis symptoms can be short-lived, or they can become chronic.



Proctitis signs and symptoms may include:

  • Frequent or continuous sensation that you need to have a bowel movement;
  • Rectal bleeding;
  • The passing of mucus through your rectum;
  • Rectal pain;
  • Pain on the left side of your abdomen;
  • A feeling of fullness in your rectum;
  • Diarrhea;
  • Pain with bowel movements

Variability of symptoms reflects the differences in the extent of disease and the intensity of inflammation. Generally, patients with inflammation confined to the rectum and a short segment of the colon adjacent to the rectum have milder symptoms and a better prognosis than patients with more widespread inflammation of the colon.



Several diseases and conditions can cause the lining of the rectum to become inflamed. They include:

  • Inflammatory bowel diseases;
  • Infections (sexually transmitted infections, infections associated with foodborne illness)
  • Radiation therapy for cancer;
  • Antibiotics;
  • Proctitis in breast-fed children and children who have strep throat


Risk Factors

Proctitis is common in people who have inflammatory bowel diseases. Sexually transmitted infections are another frequent cause. Proctitis also can be a side effect of radiation therapy for certain cancers.



Patients with Proctitis usually do quite well. Brief periodic treatments using oral medications or enemas may be sufficient and serious complications are rare. However, in those situations with more extensive disease, blood loss from the inflamed intestines can lead to anemia and may require treatment with iron supplements or even blood transfusions. Proctitis that isn't treated or that doesn't respond to treatment may lead to complications, including anemia, ulcers, fistulas and even cancer.



To reduce the risk of Proctitis, a person should primarily take steps to protect himself from sexually transmitted infections (SDI). If one is diagnosed with a SDI, they must abstain  until after they have completed the treatment.