Fresh rectal bleeding is usually caused by hemorrhoids or an anal fissure, according to Boots WebMD. The brightness of the blood indicates that the bleeding is fairly recent and near the anus, or somewhere low in the digestive tract, states WebMD.
Hemorrhoids, or piles, are described by Boots WebMD as swollen blood vessels that cause itching or pain in or around the anus. They can sometimes cause bleeding when passing stool. They occur in anyone, but pregnant women and middle-aged people are more likely to develop them. Hemorrhoids can typically be resolved without surgery through the use of creams, high-fiber diets and fluids.
Anal fissures are small tears in the anal canal, says Boots WebMD. They are usually caused by large, hard stool damaging the canal as it passes, or by an overly tight anal sphincter that is unable to relax sufficiently. They are typically described as first being painful while pooping, followed by a burning sensation and then bright blood on toilet paper.
While hemorrhoids and anal fissures are not serious conditions and can be resolved on their own, any bleeding in stool is still cause for concern and warrants a visit to the doctor, WebMD warns. A doctor may need to perform a physical exam to determine the cause of bleeding and prescribe treatment.