The rectal exam is important to make sure causes of rectal bleeding such as hemorrhoids are not missed. Additionally, understanding how to palpate the prostate gland is important for looking for cancer and diagnosis prostatitis. A rectal exam should be performed on most patients with abdominal pain and any concern for blood loss. Here, we review some important steps of a compete rectal exam.
Skip to Content. A digital rectal exam DRE is a test for both men and women. It allows a doctor to check the lower rectum, pelvis, and lower belly for cancer and other health problems, including:. A doctor may perform a DRE as part of a routine medical examination. Or a person may need a DRE if he or she has symptoms such as rectal bleeding, a change in bowel habits, urethral discharge or bleeding, or a change in urine stream.
Access your health information from any device with MyHealth. You can message your clinic, view lab results, schedule an appointment, and pay your bill. Be sure you're screened by a doctor regularly if you're at high risk for anal cancer.
A digital rectal exam is an examination of the lower rectum. The health care provider uses a gloved, lubricated finger to check for any abnormal findings. The provider will first look at the outside of the anus for hemorrhoids or fissures. Then the provider will put on a glove and insert a lubricated finger into the rectum. In women, this exam may be done at the same time as a pelvic exam.