Anal Abscess

(Anal Rectal Abscess; Anorectal Abscess)


An anal abscess is a pus-filled pocket located in the spaces around the anus and rectum. An abscess can be found near the surface of the anal opening or deeper in the rectum.


An anal abscess is caused by a bacterial infection. Infection may occur when there is a blockage in one or more of the anal glands that secrete mucous, or from an anal fistula .
The Anus
si1229 96472 1
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Risk Factors

Anal absesses are more common in men. Other factors that may increase your chance of an anal abscess include:
  • Certain conditions, such as Crohn's disease , ulcerative colitis , or sexually transmitted diseases
  • Medications that suppress the immune system
  • Pregnancy
  • Receptive anal intercourse


Symptoms depend on where the abscess is located. An anal abscess may cause:
  • Pain and tenderness radiating from the location of the abscess if it is near the surface
  • Lower abdominal pain if it is located deeper in the rectum
  • Redness and swelling—visible with a surface abscess, also occurs in a deep abscess, but cannot be seen
  • Pus drainage
  • Fever
Complications of an anal abscess may include:
  • Anal fistula—abnormal channel between the rectum and the surface of the anal skin leading to the outside
  • Systemic sepsis —serious, life-threatening infection that spreads throughout the body
  • Stool incontinence

leave comments
Did you like this? Share with your family and friends.
Related Topics:
Current Research From Top Journals

Water Before Meals May Promote Weight Loss
August 2015

A randomized trial found that drinking water before main meals led to higher weight loss than those who were asked to imagine a full stomach before main meals. Water preloading is believed to help create a feeling of fullness or satiety during the meal, which may help curb overeating.

dot separator
previous editions

Fecal Transplants Induce Ulcerative Colitis Remission
July 2015

Exercise Associated with Healthy Baby Weight
June 2015

Mindful Meditation May Reduce Symptoms and Complications of Insomnia
May 2015

dashed separator


Our Free Newsletter
click here to see all of our uplifting newsletters »