Digital Rectal Examination (DRE)
Why It Is Done
A Reference digital rectal exam (DRE) Opens New Window is done to:
- Check for growths in or enlargement of the Reference prostate gland Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window in men. A tumor in the prostate can often be felt as a hard lump. This may be done as part of a regular examination or to check on symptoms, such as a change in urination. Not all problems of the prostate can be felt through the rectum.
- Check for problems in a woman's Reference reproductive organs Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window, such as the uterus and ovaries. It is often done during a regular Reference pelvic examination Opens New Window and Reference Pap test Opens New Window. It may also be done to check on symptoms, such as pelvic pain or vaginal bleeding.
- Help find the cause of symptoms such as rectal bleeding (blood in the stool), belly or pelvic pain, a change in urination, or a change in bowel habits.
- Collect a stool sample to test for blood in the stool.
- Check for Reference hemorrhoids Opens New Window or growths, such as cancer, in the rectum. DRE alone is not used to diagnose Reference colorectal cancer Opens New Window. Also, a DRE may not find internal hemorrhoids because they are soft and hard to feel. A Reference sigmoidoscopy Opens New Window may be needed to diagnose internal hemorrhoids.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference September 26, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Jerome B. Simon, MD, FRCPC, FACP - Gastroenterology