Anytime! Having suffered piles and fissures myself due to constipation caused by my subutex treatment, I cannot emphasize how reassuring and important a trip to that doctor is! If you are in the US and do not have insurance, you can still be seen at free clinics, and your insurance should cover you for these conditions too. When I had a fissure I could hardly pass a poo at all, and the pain was the worst pain I have ever felt.
Piles, like I said above are NOT a small issue like so many people think they are and more awareness of them is needed. 99% of all people will suffer some form of the condition in their lives, and it is not nice at all. Piles can make having a poo one of the most painful things you will ever do!. Just 5 drops of blood from a bleeding pile can turn the toilet water bright red, streak your stool with blood and leave blood on the toilet paper after wiping, causing the fear and shock most people faced with this issue feel. A simple rectal exam can soon check for skin tags, fissures and piles, I have had all of those. Skin tags make wiping hard and can make your bottom very itchy, your GP can refer you to have these removed if needed. If your GP suspects you have occult (which simply means hidden, not mystic), bleeding in your bowel, they may offer you a three day FOB (faecal occult blood) test kit where you will take a small swab from three different stools over three days, and simply smear it on a square on each test card (yes a bit yucky but it's all worth it if your GP thinks you need this test), and post the test off to a lab to be tested for hidden blood.
You can ask for a FOB test kit from your GP if you are at all worried and it can be carried out via digital rectal exam sometimes too. Don't buy the home test kits as they only test one stool, and some conditions like ulcers bleed on and off, so the test needs to be a proper, doctor recommended three day FOB test.
In the UK everyone over 60 automatically receives a FOB test kit in the mail every two years, this is because colorectal cancer is more common among older people and a complete cure is pretty much guaranteed when it is caught very early as simple removal of a polyp during colonoscopy is often all it takes, even if the polyp shows up as cancerous or precancerous, you often need no further treatment other than two yearly colonoscopies and FOB tests. A positive FOB test does NOT mean cancer, it often means conditions like piles, fissures, and in older people diverticular disease, which causes small outpouching of your colon. A positive FOB will usually mean a referral to see a gastroenterologist for a colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy which will diagnose and sometimes treat problems like diverticulae and piles. Sometimes stool gets trapped in the diverticulae causing diverticulitis, which makes them inflamed and they can bleed profusely. This condition is often treated with diet changes, medications, and in some cases surgery to remove a small portion of the effected bowel to improve quality of life, this is only done in severe cases where the condition is effecting quality of life and mainly in older people.
I know it's scary, but all of these problems caught early are treatable, even cancer caught early a complete cure is very possible with just a simple colonoscopy and removal of the cancer cells. Sometimes you may be offered radiation, but very often just removal of the polyp is all that's needed.
Don't sit on it and suffer is my saying, get along to your doctor, who has seen more anuses than you have had hot meals. It's NOTHING to them at all and they will most likely see at least 10 patients a WEEK reporting rectal bleeding, and out of every 1000 patients they see, only one or two will have any signs of cancer. Scary symptom yes, but the longer you leave seeing your doctor the worse your problems will become. All I needed was a rectal exam and a laxative to keep my stools nice and soft to stop them tearing my anus and rectum like they had been.
Also do not ignore constipation, because it can lead to fissures and piles, see a doctor and get a suitable laxative. Often laxatives prescribed by doctors work much better than those you can buy from a pharmacy, because rather than making stool liquid, they simply keep it moist, preventing tearing of the anus and rectum and piles, fissures and faecal impaction. Feacal impaction is where stool hardens in the rectum and lower colon, and sometimes needs removing by a medical professional.
My biggest advice is DO NOT GOOGLE YOUR SYMPTOMS. Dr Google is the worst doctor ever, and will diagnose you with some really horrible diseases when all you really have is a simple, treatable condition such as piles or a fissure.
Anal abscess is another painful condition to watch out for, symptoms are pain, throbbing, bleeding, pus in stool, on TP, in the bowl or oozing onto pants and holes (fistulas) around your back passage which are channels the pus makes in order to get out of the area. Get along to your doctor for some antibiotics and in some cases a small operation which will permanently fix the problem. This condition can be hard to treat, so the sooner you see the doctor, the easier it will be to treat.
I would love a mod to sticky this, as it is such a prominent and scary topic for lots of people like myself with anxiety. By the time I had done googling I had anal cancer, colon cancer, stomach cancer, cancer of everything, and that simple trip to my GP has done away with all of that. Dropping my trousers at the GP? easy as pie, embarrassment, none at all, GPs have seen it all before. We all poo, we all have an anus, there is nothing to be ashamed of, just explain it to your GP however you like, butthole, asshole, bum, backside, jacksie, they will know it ALL trust me lol.
For a simple rectal exam your GP will ask you to lie on the bed on your left hand side and draw your knees up to your chest, they will then put on gloves, put a lubricant on their finger and gently insert their finger into your back passage and do a 360 sweep of your rectum to check for ulcers, polyps, piles, fissures, skin tags etc and to check for obvious bleeding from something like a bleeding pile. They will ask you if you feel any pain during the exam, which can help locate something like an internal pile or abscess. The exam is over in 60 seconds or less. If they suspect infection from an abscess or bug in your rectum they may take a swab and send it off to a lab to identify the bug and treat it with antibiotic suppositories or tablets.
My most important message, SEE YOUR DOCTOR.