OK, let's talk about assholes. No, I don't mean people who are behaving rudely, but actual buttholes. This blog isn't for anyone who has the mindset of a Victorian lady, as there will be a detailed description of how I managed to get a persistent and awfully painful anal fissure under control. Some might now think, "Hey, Angie, cheers, but that's too much information." But I disagree. Sadly, we still don't talk about butt pains and many people suffer in silence. I, also, felt disgusted by myself because I had this anal issue, and felt alone with it. Only when I stumbled upon this forum did I realise that many more women were suffering from the same thing - often having it for decades without getting any real help from doctors.
And this is why I am sharing it here, even though it might seem like an awfully intimate issue. Maybe you're suffering from a fissure, maybe you will in the future, maybe you never will but have other issues. I just know that I got an issue under control that seemed to completely overtake my life - and should you suffer from the same, I wouldn't want you to suffer simply for a lack of information, so here I am sharing my therapy with you. #
But first, I'm going to tell you my whole dreadful story with it. If you just want to skip down to the healing part, you can do so, of course.
A little background
In August 2020, my daughter Lily was born. It was a natural birth and I had a third-degree tear that went all the way up to my sphincter (anal) muscle. They had to stitch me up under general anaesthetic. My sphincter was torn about 30% of the muscle (if it's 50% or more, it's a fourth-degree-tear).
The irony was that I didn't feel the pain after birth. I was up and sitting the next day, quite to the surprise of the doctors. I iced the area, but I didn't have any real pain. However, about six or eight weeks later, I would get cramp-like fits in my butthole after using the toilet - and let me tell you, they were more painful than labour. I couldn't sit. Every time I did a poo, I was in excruciating pain. I could barely stand some days because it hurt so bad.
Eventually, I went back to the hospital where I had had Lily and they examined me, but didn't say what it was. Nor did they find anything wrong. I went home with the notion "it would go away eventually".
It didn't. It came periodically, and it was excruciating. I saw the doctors at the hospital again and again, but to no avail. By doing my own Google research, I'd stumbled upon a forum where women shared their butt problems, and narrowed it down to an anal fissure, but no doctor gave me that diagnosis. By this point, I'd already seen an expensive proctologist who gave me even more expensive creams and stuff, that didn't really help - and I was still short a diagnosis.
By this time, I was at a point where I feared I'd just have to live with this forever now. I felt humiliated, frustrated and, frankly, desperate. When the fissure acted up again, shortly after I found out I was pregnant with Finn, I went to the main clinic in Innsbruck and demanded they examine me until they find a reason. Before then I wouldn't leave. So they put me on a stool that looked like a mixture of a torture device and something you find in a BDSM sex dungeon. I was strapped down and three (male!) doctors fingered around my butthole - thankfully I'd lost any sense of dignity or humility while giving birth, so that was something at least.
And, FINALLY, they gave me a diagnosis. Anal fissure. As if I hadn't known. So what did they tell me to do?
What actually helped to get rid of the fissure
They prescribed me an anal stretcher. This is a cone-shaped plastic device that you shove up your hole twice a day to relax the sphincter and to stretch out the muscle. The therapy was as following:
- take a sitzbath with oak bark extract or similar substance relaxing and healing oil
- put a light anaesthetic cream on the anal stretcher and insert for 10 minutes (if that hurts too much, you can also put a gloved finger inside and massage. I did that, too, sometimes to massage the skin.)
- put on a healing cream afterwards (like Bepanthen or Vitawund)
This therapy helped instantly. The fissure healed quickly and only two or three days later, I could resume my normal life. However, just following this routine wasn't the entire trick to it. The problem with fissures is that if they tear open again and again, they become chronic. A fissure takes about six to eight weeks to fully heal, but you can't just hold it for so long. So what can you do? You can adjust your eating habits to ensure you have good stool and don't rip open your healing fissure again.
I noticed that my fissure always acted up when I didn't care about my diet and consumed a lot of sugar. I would then stop eating junk food when the fissure acted up, but as soon as it was gone, I'd resume my unhealthy habits.
With over a year of fissure martyrdom behind me, I was ready to let my body fully heal. So, in addition to doing the prescribed therapy, I also didn't eat sugar for eight weeks. I lost 6kg without trying (although I was pregnant), and my stool was well-formed and soft.
However, that is still not all. I completely changed my anal hygiene. Every day after a poop, I would get undressed, hop in the shower and wash out my butt with water. No toilet paper. Every day. And, here comes the twist, I still do it until today (we now have a bidet, so I don't have to shower each time). Wiping your hairy butt with dry paper when you poop, is kind of disgusting when you think about it. If you had shit on your head, would you just get a dry sheet of paper, wipe over it and say "well, I guess it's clean now!". I don't think so. Tearing at your butthole with dry paper rips the very sensitive skin, and it doesn't really do a good job at cleaning.
After eight weeks, I slowly resumed eating sugar again, but I kept up my anal hygiene. I didn't have any anal problems after my son's birth (even though I tore again - second-degree-tear), and I haven't had issues with the fissure since. After a period of really poor eating habits, I sometimes feel a little twinge in the butt area, but with healing cream it's under control within two days. I haven't had the excruciating pains since then.
So, in a nutshell, the therapy for an anal fissure is the following:
1) get a proper diagnosis and insist on being diagnosed.
2) If it's an anal fissure, get a sitzbath solution, an anal stretcher and follow the routine religiously.
3) Only rinse your butthole with water (definitely during the time of healing, but I recommend to adopt it as a new habit).
4) Avoid sugar for at least six to eight weeks to regulate your bowel movements and let your fissure heal.
Writer. Editor. Blogger. YouTuber. Freelancer. Traveller. English fanatic.