What Is a Fissure?

Condoms can sometimes cause vaginal fissures in women.
Article Details
  • Written By: Lilian Emmanuel
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 15 August 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article

A fissure is a division, cut, tear, or a cleft in part of the body. It can be normal or abnormal. In anatomy, there are several different types of normal or natural fissure, including a fissure of the lungs, the spinal cord, the liver, the brain, and other body parts. The most common abnormal type is the fissure of the anus.

This kind of tear may develop when an individual strains the sphincter muscles of the anus when trying to pass out large or hard stools during bowel movements. It is also common in babies between eight months and two years of age after constipation. New mothers who gave birth by vaginal delivery are also susceptible to this condition.

This tear is associated with pain in the anal opening during bowel movements and can be acute. In some cases the tear can be severe and chronic. Common symptoms of an anal fissure are a tear in the skin around the anal opening, irritation around the anal opening, and fissure pain during any bowel movements or when wearing tight clothing. Sufferers may also see blood on the toilet paper or drops of blood in the toilet when passing stool.

Ad

An acute anal fissure can often be treated by the use of suppositories or the application of topical creams, like rectal corticosteroid, and may heal on its own. Severe fissures may be treated with an injection of botulinum A toxin into the anal sphincter muscles or with surgery. This surgery is called an anal sphincterotomy, and is only recommended when the botulinum injections or other medications don't heal the tear. In the fissure surgery, a surgical blade is used to make a cut in the anal sphincter muscles to stop pain, reduce spasm, and encourage healing.

Immediately after the surgery, there may be discomfort in area operated on, especially when the patient uses the toilet. In few days, however, as healing commences, the pain and discomfort should decrease. Painkillers are often recommended to help cope with the pain. The fissure healing often takes two to four weeks.

Patients should practice good hygiene to avoid infection of the operated area. Gentle wiping of the anus should also help reduce irritation. Prevention of any disease or problem is usually much better than trying to cure it, however. People can reduce the chances of this type of fissure by eating fiber-rich foods and drinking plenty of fluids after every meal.

Ad

More from Wisegeek

You might also Like

Discuss this Article

anon108045
Post 2

I went to the doctor and was told mine was unusual. I have a vaginal fissure. Now what can be done for that? It is inside of my vaginal opening. I cannot have sex with my husband and it's putting a strain on my marriage. Is there a specialist that can help me? Please!

anon47594
Post 1

great article. good to have people with your knowledge on the internet. My daughter scored an A, using your article as a discussion in her class work. good work indeed.

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email