There are many women in same pain as you.
Here some text to help you along.
Proctalgia fugax is a severe, cramp-like pain, deep in the anal canal. It usually lasts for less than a minute, but can sometimes last for up to half an hour. Most sufferers have only 5 or 6 attacks a year. You may feel a need to defecate urgently, but nothing happens. It may even make you feel dizzy, or give you a headache. It occurs in both men and women. The pain often wakes sufferers at night, and men may have an erection at the same time. Some men experience it after sex. It is a mysterious condition; no one knows what causes it, but it is probably a spasm of the rectal or pelvic floor muscles and does not mean that you have anything seriously wrong. There are various methods of relieving the pain.
* Try putting pressure on the perineum (the area between the back passage and the vagina or base of the penis) by sitting on the edge of your bath or on a tennis ball.
* Sit in hot water or, alternatively, apply some ice.
* Two paracetamol tablets and a hot drink may give some relief.
The problem with medications for proctalgia fugax is that the episode is likely to be over before the drugs become active. They might be worth trying if your attacks last a long time. Possible treatments are glyceryl trinitrate spray or under-the-tongue tablets (as used for angina), glyceryl trinitrate cream applied to the anal area, or the asthma drug salbutamol (inhaled from a puffer at the start of the attack). These treatments are only available on prescription, for which you would need to see your doctor.
Husband of wife with same.
I have been suffering from Anal cramps since I was 18 years old. I am 64. My sister, who also suffers from the same condition gave me a way to stop the pain in a minute or so. When the cramps start, most of the time at night, I get up and lay on the floor on my back, take the Candle position ( legs up straight in the air, holding my body with my hands under my hips, and move my legs like I was bicycling).It is magic. Louisette
Wow! I just heard this term on Dr. Oz. I had been suffering from this for several years. I finally mentioned my issue to my gynecologist and he said it was normal. Yeah, right. I thought I was the only one and you guys have this on the discussion since 2008.
So glad that I have a name to put to what I was experiencing.
I had my first attack of PF at about 10 years of age , and will never forget it and since then i have gotten about 12 attacks per year ever since. It is a terrible sharp aching pain and 90% the time it wakes me from a very deep sleep and lasts at least 30 mins. On a few occassions i have even gotten out of bed to quickly and fainted from the combined pain and low blood pressure of being soundly asleep. I am female and my attackes tend to occur at the same time every month just before ovulation. I am now 45. The salbutamol spray suggested has definitely worked for me so i recommend giving it a go. Before I go to bed on those days when attacks are likely for me I take 2 puffs of salbutamol and it has reduced attacks in those months when i have remembered to take the spray.
I'm posting this just to add to the chorus in hopes that perhaps the medical community will look into this issue.
Mine started when I was in college and initially I had about 2 episodes per year which seemed to coincide with semi-annual social events where I ate a lot of shrimp. Years of additional episodes without shrimp persuaded me that shrimp have nothing to do with this pain. However, I have not ruled out horseradish (big ingredient in cocktail sauce. . . ) as a potential trigger.
I had episodes while in the military including in the field. A full gastroendoscopy at the Army hospital revealed nothing - but this examination procedure was nearly as bad as an episode and gave me NO desire to try again.
98% (rough estimate) of my episodes occur at night after I've gone to sleep. So, I don't buy the "stress" theory. If I were that stressed out, I don't think I'd be able to go to sleep in the first place. I have had perhaps 3 episodes over the past 20 years during the day; there was nothing unusual going on at the time so these provided no insight into possible causes.
I'm now 48 and I've recently had nearly monthly episodes for several months. No significant change in diet, sleep pattern, or lifestyle. It seems to be completely random.
I am an extreme sleeper; NOTHING wakes me up. Except this pain. It's intense. And, it often lasts over an hour, which leaves me completely wrecked the next morning.
Sitting on the toilet and rocking back and forth is virtually my only relief. Walking occasionally helps but is somewhat impractical in the middle of the night. If I can manage to pass gas, that is a momentary relief. Passing a stool is somewhat painful when it occurs and stools are generally pencil-thin or almost pellet-like (very unlike my usual products). As a rule, passing any stool is at best a momentary relief.
You are not alone! I'm just praying that some eager young medical researcher will put some effort into finding a cure or at least effective relief!
Mike, I feel your pain. I have found my own relief from this pain by sitting on a hard floor with my legs straight out and upper body straight up (90 degrees). I can feel when mine are starting and this has always stopped mine before it gets to where its unbearable. You'll be able to feel relief in about 5 minutes but if you get up too soon it will come back. I usually sit for about 20 minutes to make sure and then I can sleep through the night. I suffered with this for quite some time and the pain was enough to turn me white and sweat. Hope this helps
I am 56 and male and have suffered from this on and off most of my adult life. Sorry that others have suffered as above - but I am somewhat relieved to find I am not alone! - This unfortunately falls (as many things do) into the bucket "we don't know" for the medical profession which is why poor doctors will associate it with stress etc. If I can add anything to the above conversation it is that I have noticed that it is associated with dehydration within the last 48 hrs. ie - An upsetting of the osmotic balance of the body which has left part of the gut short on water. (Hence the comment above on 'stool pellets'.) I find that I hyper-ventilate and drink pints of water to relieve the cramp pain. Prostate massage also helps. I will try the 'cycling on back' comment above to see if this helps! - Thanks!