Anyone ever refused an anal exam?

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New Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 5/16/2010 11:39 AM (GMT -7)   
I haven't really posted on here much..but thought I would ask this stupid question. Every time I go to my doc he wants to do an anal exam.....I mean EVERY time. It hurts like h*** and I get tired of it. I know he has his reasons but sometimes I just feel violated. What can doing an anal exam tell him exactly? Except that I am bleeding and I can tell him that. I have to go to him tomorrow and I am thinking about telling him I would rather not do an anal exam. What do u guys think? Does ur doc. make u do an anal exam each time? Just thought I would get some feed back.

Elite Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 5/16/2010 11:57 AM (GMT -7)   
no im not given an anal exam each appointment but the doc does do them YEARLY OR EVERY 2 YRS
let him know how yoou feel
i find that i hv a great relationship with all my docs as im totally upfront n
i want them to be as well
just a thought

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Post Edited (Howlyncat) : 5/16/2010 6:56:32 PM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
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   Posted 5/16/2010 12:33 PM (GMT -7)   
No way am I cool with a doc doing an anal exam! The only way my doc is doing an anal exam is under GA, because I am someone who has reacts very violently to it.
Forum Co-moderator - Crohn's Disease/Thyroid Disorders:_All comments have the caveat contact your local health care provider.

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Post Edited (MMMNAVY) : 5/16/2010 1:47:22 PM (GMT-6)

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 119
   Posted 5/16/2010 2:02 PM (GMT -7)   
I had one GI doctor that wanted to do a rectal exam and being that I thought it would help with the exam I let him but not only did it hurt, he was to rough, and I couldn't understand what he found out from doing it at all. Anyway, now I tell any doctor "no" regarding recatal exams because I have my colorectal surgeon for that and she puts me out. When your doctor is getting ready to do it you can just tell him "no".

My new GI doctor wanted to do a rectal exam last week and me and my husbund both told him at the same time "No" (especially being that I just had the seton drain put in a week before that) and he just said "ok".
37 year old female and a proud mother of 8 kids (5 still living at home) and a very supportive Husband
Found out I had crohn's disease about 3 years ago, I haven't had proper treatment since :-(
Have had rectal abscess and now a rectal fistula, Medications I have taken for crohn's is..... Asacol and Entocort EC......Currently taking....Asacol
Suppose to start Steroid and 6mp next week (May 18, 2010).....I'm so scared :-(
Seton drain was put in on May 4, 2010
I also suffer from very bad anxiety and panic attacks for over 10 years (after my father passed away)
I have tried almost every medication for it but nothing worked or I had a bad side effect so for the last 6 years have been on xanax 1mg., 3x's a day
I started having joint pain about 7 months ago :-(

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 196
   Posted 5/16/2010 2:06 PM (GMT -7)   
I've never had one and I'd probably be rather closed minded about having one done.
Diagnosed in April 05, resection in May 05. Have gone through 6MP, Remicade and am now on Humira and Colestid.

I am in remission!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 610
   Posted 5/16/2010 3:56 PM (GMT -7)   
It's really hard to justify a rectal exam given the limited information it will provide.  I have no problem saying no, and I've never had a doctor give me a hard time about it, ever.
Follow Nancy Reagan's advice and "Just say no."
He might be looking for fissures, skin tags, hemorrhoids, etc., but if they were giving you trouble, you'd probably bring them to his attention.

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 5/16/2010 3:59 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank u guys..... u made me feel so much better. I just don't understand why he wants to do one every office visit. My doc is very rough with me also. I always dred going in the room to wait for him and I cringe when I look over at the counter and every time there is gloves and lube. I have made up my mind that I am just going to tell him "no" and that I am already sore enough. I know it sounds crazy, but I feel like he is doing it just to hurt me. My sis is usually with me and she even agreed. I feel like he could be a little more gentle and its not like he is in there for just a second either......its like he is pushing and pushing and I am trying not to yell out and then he says "sorry, sorry" its just really gross. The last office visit my sis said "he needs to pay you for that instead of the other way around" lol Anyway I try not to be a baby about it because I know there are far worse pains that each of you and me have been through. Thanx again for all of your repys!!!!

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 193
   Posted 5/16/2010 5:46 PM (GMT -7)   
I refused once when they wanted to let a medical student do an exam to get more "practice" so I told him to practice on his own anus. They are all pretty much alike. He thought it was funny.
Age 58, Crohn's since age 21
3 bowel resections, 1980,88,95
1 fistula repair, 2005
digestive enzymes

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 111
   Posted 5/16/2010 6:17 PM (GMT -7)   
That is funny!! :)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 4363
   Posted 5/16/2010 8:19 PM (GMT -7)   
My doc only does an anal exam if I am having specific problems like hemmies. Do you need a new doc? He shouldn't be rough with you, and you should be able to ask for his reasoning for doing the exam.
51 yr. old female, diagnosed with Crohn's in small intestine and terminal ileum Sept-Oct. 2007. Also have IBS, and had Salmonella Dec. '07
currently taking Pentasa- 4 500mg pills per day, Metamucil and colace for constipation, probiotics

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 506
   Posted 5/16/2010 9:05 PM (GMT -7)   
I've never had one, and I don't see the need to get one. If I had issues I wouldn't say no to a periodic check, but examining every time seems a bit much.
Diagnosed with CD July 2007
Currently on Remicade, Imuran, probiotics, folic acid, multivitamin.
Resection December 2009

Amor fati - Nietzsche

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 845
   Posted 5/17/2010 12:01 AM (GMT -7)   
Next time your doc wants to do one just say," YOu know Doc, these anal exams are getting to be a real pain in the butt." Then ask him why he needs to do it so often. If he has a good reason then you need to allow it to be done because he may find something that could save your life or prevent further medical problems. You can always have fun with him and ask when he is done if he wants his wedding ring back. That may help avoid one on your next visit. I am really surprised to read posts on here about people that have never had an anal exam, especially if you are bleeding or end up in the E.R.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 681
   Posted 5/17/2010 1:00 AM (GMT -7)   
You should have your prostate checked if your over 50 and male. I don't know your age or sex but thought I'd throw that in. I get mine done by my GI everytime she does a colonoscopy about every 2 years, I'm oot cold so, no harm no foul.

Male, 54 years old with Crohn's since 15 years old, diagnosed at age 46. Terminal ileum resected 2002. 5 months of remission. Crohn's has now been active since early 2003. Had a gall bladder removed Nov. of 2009. Currently on Remicade every 8 weeks, Nexium, Iron, B-12 injection every 4 weeks,5-asa Asacol, Morphine Sulfate as needed for pain. Cymbalta for long term pain control. 5-asa Salofalk, Entecort, Imuran and Prednisone in the past.

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 70
   Posted 5/17/2010 5:36 AM (GMT -7)   
I guess you guys never heard of anal cancer being found early by a rectal exam. If the Dr is too rough tell him to be more gentle. I tell mine. Maybe if Fara had one she might be alive today...Once a year for a check is not a bad idea. If you got IBD it is even more important, no.?
DX UC 1969
On and off flares for 40 years
Cort enema's & 8 tabs of sulfasalazine per day for flares.
Have tried asacol, rowasa enema, and pentasa does not work
Never really been mucus free. lomotol as needed.
Upcoming scope 5/17.
Bad back..which makes bathroom runs during flares interesting!
Prostatitis another joy to live with.

Maintenance: 6 tabs sulfasalazine, nexium for Gerd. Atenol for BP and Lipitor.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2003
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   Posted 5/17/2010 7:26 AM (GMT -7)   
It is certainly a fair question to ask him what he is looking for, what he expects to find, if this exam might alter your treatment plan in anyway and tell him that the exam is VERY uncomfortable to you as his is not the most gentle finger in the neighborhood and if there isn't something of value to be learned by such frequent exams you refuse to endure more than one a year.

Remember, it is YOUR health, YOUR "bottom" and YOU are the one paying HIM (whether thru insurance or out of pocket is immaterial), YOU are the one who endures the benefits - or consequences - of any and all medical procedures and decisions made.
My computer says I need to upgrade my brain to be compatible with its new software.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Dec 2008
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   Posted 5/17/2010 7:35 AM (GMT -7)   
Mine hasn't done an anal exam since the first time I went there. They initially thought I had hemmeroids but didn't feel anything during the exam. I went for a flex sig, next thing you know, I am diagnosed with UC. I haven't had that exam since. I go to a female GI, I would be very uncomfortable having a male doctor.
March 2007: Diagnosed with mild proctitis - Treated with Canasa (as needed)
August 08 - December 08: Relapse & Anemic - Treated with Asacol (9/day) + Canasa 2x/day
January 09 - December 09: Remission!! Canasa nightly + Asacol (9/day) + Probiotics + Iron
December 09 - January 10: Flare :( - 40mg prednisone + Canasa - Relapse @ 2.5mg - Began Slower Taper
Current: prednisone, Colazal, Canasa

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 430
   Posted 5/17/2010 8:40 AM (GMT -7)   
RJD: she also refused most treatments - so my guess is she was having severe symptoms by the time she finally saw a doctor. I wouldn't think anal cancer is exactly a "silent disease".

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 18
   Posted 5/19/2010 10:47 AM (GMT -7)   
I can't even count the number of anal exams I have had over the past 5 or so years since I got sick. While I agree they are not fun, I don't think they are that bad either. I have had them at the Mayo, at the local ER's, in the hospital, by my various GI Docs over the years - some are more gentle than others but they have all had their reasons for doing it. With a disease like this one, I think you have to take control, be your own advocate and play a leading role in your health care but I have also had to deal with the fact that a disease that heavily involves "butts and guts" is not pleasant and there are times that I just need to deal with that. The good news is that they are quick and they do give the Doctor the ability to check for blood, to test your stool, to address any abnormal abcess or mass, to address hemorrhoids, etc......

If you are uncomfortable with him then you should ask him why he is doing it and see if his answer satisfies you. If he is too rough or if you are just not OK with him then you should get a new GI. I have fired many Docs in 5 years in search of the right one. There are a lot of good Docs out there, don't feel bad about searching until you find the right one for you.

Good luck!
Crohn's DX in 2006 but sick for well over a year before that. Currently just started on Humira, Pred - 40mg (hoping to taper off of this soon), Phenergan 25gm prn, Percocet, Pentasa 500mg, Protonix 40mg and Lomotil, prn. 
I live my life to the fullest, enjoy every day and am excited for the day when we will be able to say good-bye to CD and UC.  I am becoming active in my local CCFA chapter and have found them to be a wonderful resource!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1169
   Posted 5/19/2010 11:30 AM (GMT -7)   
Well the rectal exam for us guys is basicaly the same thing as the pelvic for women -- a routine cancer screening for the prostate. As for others, it makes sense to me that if you are being treated for a chronic disease involving the gastrointestinal tract, checking that portion of it that is easily accessible makes sense.

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 41
   Posted 6/3/2010 7:48 AM (GMT -7)   
My first anal exam was Feb. 2009. My doc felt something and long story short it was Prostate cancer.Glad he found it.

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 6/3/2010 10:46 AM (GMT -7)   
MY docs know well enough that due to the large inflammed perianal crohn's skin tags that I have, they can only do anal exams when I'm put completely to sleep...needless to say, that only happens when I'm have a colonoscopy or even a sigmoidoscopy (due to the anal issues I have).

You can most definitely say no to having an anal exam done and they have to abide by your wishes, it's your body.
bee propolis caps 500mg one cap twice/day
omegas 369 caps one cap twice/day
probiotics 10 billion cfu once/day
vitamins C-calcium ascorbate (easy on the gut) and vitamin A each once/day
Prodiem fibre supplement one cap before bed
I've also altered my diet (no junky stuff at all, processed, fast-foods, refined sugars, ect) and exercise regularly.
I went from 30+ bloody BM's/day with lots of lower back pain to an average of 5/day no bleeding no back pain and completely formed stools, still have severe urgency issues.
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Regular Member

Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 266
   Posted 6/3/2010 5:31 PM (GMT -7)   
Personally, I think the doc wanting to do anal exams for every office visit is sick and twisted. There are no benchmark standards or research supporting such approach. I personally would ask for the literature, rationale or whatever else to make him defend himself medically. If he can't, time to find a new GI. Doc's are humans too and sometimes have personality flaws. . . you are a consumer and have the right to be treated with dignity, respect as well as being an informed consumer.

Aimee =)
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2004
Total Posts : 1020
   Posted 6/3/2010 5:44 PM (GMT -7)   
I've had four GIs since my dx - not one of them has even suggested an anal exam in an office visit. I do know they have done it as standard practice before a scope but that's it.

I would not agree to one at this point. Every visit seems... odd. No way it'd be happening with me that often.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 429
   Posted 6/4/2010 7:36 AM (GMT -7)   
I've lost count how many times I've had a rectal exam.
Bear in mind, I was a kid when I first got sick and it just goes to show how sick I was that I really didn't care how many times I got poked.
It only hurt when I was younger, I think because I had a fissure.
Now, I seem to get a rectal whenever I'm in the ER or whenever I get any new doc on my case.
Since I have a perianal fistula, I also get the joy of a rectal and vaginal exam at the same time, but it's never hurt.
Maybe your doc has no finesse.
If it's about being embarassed, well, there's no room for that when you have Crohn's.
Diagnosed with typical Crohn's at 16.
Got lucky with Asacol for a year, then even luckier with ten years of relative remission.
Now abscesses and fistulas are having an "atypical" Crohn's party around my junk.
The surgeon said it is inoperable and so I start Remicade on May 7th.

Julia Hill
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 560
   Posted 6/5/2010 8:00 PM (GMT -7)   
I have one every three months by my GI. It goes part and parcel with periannel crohn's c/w fistulas amd abscesses. He has been my dr. for 30 years and he is very gentle. It is this way that he has found crohn's ulcers and inflamation. Not fun, but necessary.

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