During the rectal examination, a nurse or doctor uses their finger to check for any issues inside the rectum (bottom). The examination is usually very quick, and you won’t feel any pain.
Reasons for a rectal examination
You need to get a rectal examination, if:
- You are bleeding from the bottom
- You are having pain in the bottom
- Incontinence (unable to control your toilet time)
Sometimes men need a rectal examination to check for prostate problems.
Before prostate exam
The doctor or nurse who conducts the procedure will explain what will happen and the purpose of a rectal examination. The examination is nothing to be embarrassed about; it’s a standard procedure. Before the exam, you can let the nurse or doctor know if:
- You would prefer a woman or ma to perform the examination
- You would like someone else present in the room
- You already have a severe bottom pain
During rectal examinations
You would have to undress from the waist down. The nurse or doctor will:
- Ask you to lie down on the left side, with your knees up towards your chest, which is the easiest way to examine the rectum.
- Put on gloves and look at the bottom outside for any problems.
- Use some lubricating gel on one finger to gently slide it inside the rectum, which is painless but can be uncomfortable.
- Sometimes they might ask you to squeeze around their finger a bit so they can assess the muscles moments.
For men, the nurse or doctor might press on the prostate, which can urge them to pee.
Reviewed by – Dr. Priyanka, MBBS MD Microbiology
Page last reviewed: 16 JULY 2022