Why would only mucus be passed through the anus? Might this be caused by colon cancer or even some other serious condition?
“The colon is quite capable and normally makes mucus to lubricate the stool, allowing easier passage through the colon and out the rectum and anus,” says Nadeem Baig, MD, a board certified gastroenterologist and hepatologist at Monmouth Gastroenterology, a division of Allied Digestive Health.
For some people, it’s scary to see gobs of mucus in their poops, even if there’s no sign of blood.
But mucus coming out of the anus – in the absence of stools – well, that could be even more unnerving.
Dr. Baig explains, “Patients with certain types of colonic disorders, including irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease, can have overactive colonic motility and can pass mucus without any stool at times.
“Just passing mucus is not typically considered a sign of colon cancer.”
Colon cancer is also very unlikely to cause only mucus with even a tinge of blood in it to pass through the anus.
If you witness the expulsion of mucus with trace blood in it, however, it probably didn’t come through your anus if you’re a woman; it likely came through your vaginal opening.
If this can’t be explained by your monthly cycle, or if you’re postmenopausal, you need to immediately get examined by a gynecologist.
Dr. Baig’s specialties include gastrointestinal cancers and liver disease, plus gallbladder, biliary tract and pancreatic disorders. He is an assistant clinical professor of medicine at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of NJ/Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.