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What is proctalgia fugax?

Robynne K. Chutkan, MD
Gastroenterology
Proctalgia fugax is manifest by deep pain in the rectum that feels like a severe muscle cramp -- which is exactly what it is: a cramping of the pubococcygeus or levator ani muscles. It frequently occurs at night and may also occur after intercourse. Some patients describe an urge to defecate although the rectum is usually empty. No one knows for sure what causes proctalgia fugax but thickening of the internal anal sphincter muscles is present in many people who suffer from this condition.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.