Blood in stool (rectal bleeding)

A red tiled bathroom with a tiolet bowl.


What is blood in stool (rectal bleeding)?

Blood in your stool can signal that there is an issue somewhere along the gastrointestinal tract. Usually, it’s caused by non-cancerous conditions and isn’t a cause for worry. However, visiting a doctor is necessary to rule out more serious conditions.

Blood in your stool can be the following:

  • You may see it mixed in with your stool – whether that be diarrhoea or hard and dry stool
  • Light bleeding you find on your toilet paper
  • Enough drops of blood to change the colour of the water in your toilet bowl
  • It can make your stool black and sticky

What are the causes of rectal bleeding?

Blood in stool is most commonly a sign of non-cancerous conditions such as 

However, it can also be a symptom of bowel or rectal cancer.

Diagnosis and treatment

In order to rule out any serious cause for concern, you should visit your GP or a gastroenterologist as soon as possible. Based on the cause of rectal bleeding, they will be able to provide you with treatment options.