Continually straining to pass stools can cause pain, discomfort and rectal bleeding.
In some cases, bleeding is the result of a small tear around the anus (anal fissure), but it's more often caused by haemorrhoids (piles). Piles are swollen blood vessels that form in the lower rectum and anus.
As well as bleeding, piles can also cause pain, itching around the anus, and swelling of the anus.
The symptoms of piles often settle down after a few days without treatment. However, creams and ointments are available to reduce any itching or discomfort.
See your GP as soon as possible if you experience any rectal bleeding.