Proctalgia fugax – a literal pain in the ass. 

I’m in a lot of pain right now, so not sure how well I’ll be able to write this post. But I wanted to mention one of my lesser-talked-about but most distressing medical issue. Proctalgia fugax. It is, quite literally, a pain in the ass. Or, more precisely, an intense cramping and spasm of the anal sphincter. It’s not really known how many people suffer from this, and it’s thought to be under-reported as people are embarrassed to go to the doctor about it. I was, but it’s important to rule out other causes of anal pain, such as haemorrhoids

I suppose I’m lucky in a way, in that the actual intense pain (which is at least 8/10 on a pain scale) never lasts more that ten minutes. And I don’t get more than around one episode a month. But, even after the pain has subsided, I am left in a weakened state. There aren’t really any effective treatments. I do have a nitroglycerin ointment I can use, which cuts the length of the attack by about half. But has the side effect of intense headache that lasts for hours. Last time I used it, the headache lasted for two whole days of relentless pain. Not worth it. 

So, there you have it. Anal pain is not really spoken about often enough. Hopefully you’ll never experience it. But if you do, please go to your doctor. And if you ever need someone to talk to about it, reach out! 
[image of a simple drawing of a peach, complete with a brown stalk and a green leaf. So you get the idea, without me having to be rude!]

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