The rectum is the last portion of the large intestine which joins the colon to the anus. It stores fecal matter made in the colon until the body is ready for a bowel movement.
Bowel movements are the final part of digestion and normally occurs a few times a day to few times per week. The filling of waste products into the rectum puts pressure on the walls, stretching them and stimulating the stretch receptors. This signals the need for a bowel movement. If delayed, it can cause the waste matter in the rectum to become hard as fluids are absorbed. This can lead to constipation.
The rectum can be affected by a number of conditions. Some are more serious than others. They can also occur at any age. Common rectal conditions are rectal injuries, rectal swelling, rectal prolapse, rectal cancer, and the following:
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