Blood in the stool means that a person is passing blood when they do a poo. The blood is not always red – sometimes it can be dark brown or black. There can be blood clots.
Occasionally a person passes blood and mucus at the same time. The bleeding might be painful or it might be painless. The most common causes of bleeding from the bowel are piles (haemorrhoids), anal fissures and bowel infections.
It could also be a sign of cancer or an inflammatory bowel disease. It is very important to see your doctor if you suspect you might be bleeding from the bowel.
Find out more about rectal bleeding.
Follow the links below to find trusted information about blood in stool.
Not sure what to do next?
If you are still concerned about blood in your stools, why not use healthdirect’s online Symptom Checker to get advice on when to seek medical attention.
The Symptom Checker guides you to the next appropriate healthcare steps, whether it’s self care, talking to a health professional, going to a hospital or calling triple zero (000).
Last reviewed: July 2015