Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Information and Resources

Foreign Body, Rectum

Rectal Foreign Object Treatment - Self-Care at Home

As a general rule, most people who have a foreign object in their rectum that cannot be seen or felt outside the anus need to seek medical attention. Many people, probably through embarrassment or fear of ridicule, will attempt to remove the item themselves. This is often very difficult and can only be accomplished by a doctor.

Most laxatives are too slow in onset to be effective. The sooner an object in the rectum is removed the better.

Medical Treatment

In some cases, the object is close enough to the anus that it can be removed in the emergency department. One of the big problems with trying to remove an object from the rectum, is that there is a strong suction between the object and the rectum walls.

  • Sometimes the doctor will pass a tube between the object and the wall of the rectum to try to equalize the pressure as the object is removed. This is uncomfortable, and you will be sedated for this procedure.
  • If the object is far into the rectum, its removal may need to be done in an operating room where you'll receive a general anesthetic.
  • If there are signs of infection in the abdomen, a hole in the bowel, or heavy bleeding from the anus, you may need emergency surgery. 

After the object has been removed, the doctor will perform an examination called a sigmoidoscopy, using a long, narrow tube (about 16-18 inches long and a little less than an inch wide) to look inside the anus and rectum. This is done to be sure there has not been any damage to the lining of the bowel, either from the initial insertion of the object or from attempts to remove it.

  • With children, an examination should nearly always be performed under anesthesia. This is also true for uncooperative psychiatric patients.
  • People who are victims of sexual assault should have a very careful examinations performed, to be certain there has been no injury to the wall of the bowel. This may be best done under general anesthesia.

Next Steps - Follow-up

Return to the doctor's office or emergency department if you develop any of these complications:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Fever
  • Rectal bleeding

There should be no limitations on general activity, unless you were sedated in order to remove the object. If so, do not drive for 24 hours afterward. Further rectal insertions should probably be avoided for a few days to allow bruising and swelling to settle.

Prevention

If you engage in erotic play, then use a vibrator or erotic toy designed for the purpose of insertion into the rectum. These items usually come with a flange to prevent them from slipping into the anus.

WebMD Medical Reference from eMedicineHealth

Hot Topics

WebMD Video: Now Playing

Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

feet
Solutions for 19 types.
highlighted areas of the brain
How well do you know yours?
oatmeal and eggs
The best and worst for you.
dog begging at table
Foods your dog should never eat.
MS Overview
Recognizing symptoms.
mature woman with serious expression
What do you know?
chlamydia
Pictures and facts.
Healthy Snack
13 delicious options.
Take your medication
Separate fact from fiction.
lone star tick
How to identify that bite.
young woman in sun
What to watch for.
woman clutching at stomach
Do you know what's causing yours?

Women's Health Newsletter

Find out what women really need.