From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
          This article is of interest to the following WikiProjects:
WikiProject Anatomy (Rated C-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Anatomy, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Anatomy on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the importance scale.
Taskforce icon
This article has not yet been associated with a particular anatomical discipline.
WikiProject Animal anatomy (Rated Start-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is part of WikiProject Animal anatomy, an attempt to organise a detailed guide to all topics related to animal anatomy apart from human anatomy. To participate, you can edit the attached article, or contribute further at WikiProject Animal anatomy. This project is an offshoot of WikiProject Animals
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.


The thermometer section is too extensive. I think it should be narrowed down to a sentence or two.

what does the rectum do?

Well the rectum stores waste thats what it does.

Explanation added.

Note: this article contains text from the public domain 1918 edition of Gray's Anatomy.


The diagram is somewhat frightening. Why don't you change the diagram? Vedant lath 10:11, 4 September 2005 (UTC)

The diagram is also incorrect, labeling the prostate as "Prostrate" - which is something else entirely. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:30, 20 September 2013 (UTC)

Removal of the "Sexual Stimuli" section[edit]

I removed the "Sexual Stimuli" section once because it might scare the living jebies off of one.

Giant Blue Anteater

Which explains why the edit was reverted immediately. Richard001 08:45, 12 February 2007 (UTC)


I disagree with the etymology given for rectum. Its original name was rectum intestinum - which does mean "the straight intestine" - the reason being that in certain animals (those dissected by Galen and followers) it is straight.


'Normal rectal temperature generally ranges from 36 to 38 °C (97.6 to 100.4 °F) and is about 0.5 °C (1 °F) above oral (mouth) temperature [...] On average, the rectal temperature is 0.4 °C (0.7 °F) higher than oral temperature.'

Is this a tautologic redundancy? Wouldn't it be better to have one statement with one 'correct' average value? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 22:18, 24 December 2006 (UTC).


What is the actual length of the rectum from sphincter to end of rectum? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 20:04, 9 February 2007 (UTC).

Humor section[edit]

I'm removing this:

The rectum is often used as the basis for humorous situations or punchline for jokes. One in particular made famous by Anthony Premus is short & sweet - "Rectum? I nearly killed 'em!"

EnviroboyTalkCs 20:43, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

Please correct typo "young children young"[edit]

One "young" needs to go. -- (talk) 02:37, 22 August 2009 (UTC)

Done. Thanks for pointing it out. —RobinHood70 (talkcontribs) 04:59, 22 August 2009 (UTC)

The length of the rectum here is inaccurate[edit]

In the article it says that it is 12 cm, when in actuality it is 20 cm [1]

Santofa (talk) 11:26, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

"The rectum measures 12–15 cm in length"[2] I think it depends if you include the anal canal in the length. Technically you should not.tepi (talk) 22:40, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
  1. ^
  2. ^ al.], senior editors, Bruce G. Wolff ... [et (2007). The ASCRS textbook of colon and rectal surgery. New York: Springer. ISBN 0-387-24846-3. 

Human rectum does not store faeces[edit]

Contrary to popular belief, the rectum is in fact empty most of the time. The sigmoid colon stores faeces. When faeces are moved into the rectum (1, 2 or more times a day, depending on how often you go) stretch receptors in the rectum give you a strong urge to defacate. They can't stay in there very long... well they can, but you'll get constipated. Ask any doctor and they'll tell you that in a rectal exam you don't usually see faeces.This is in many good anatomy and physiology textbooks, such as Gray's Anatomy for Students.

On another note, I think some more anatomy and histology will help flesh out the article. I'll add more detail to the article some when I get the time.

Td1wk (talk) 19:06, 23 April 2012 (UTC)

Dead people have empty rectums because they void after death? I don't know. But I do know that the rectum is belived by some to be a combined reservoir/conduit organ. [1]
  1. ^ Shafik, A; Mostafa, RM; Shafik, I; Ei-Sibai, O; Shafik, AA (2006 Jul 28). "Functional activity of the rectum: A conduit organ or a storage organ or both?". World journal of gastroenterology : WJG 12 (28): 4549–52. PMID 16874870.  Check date values in: |date= (help)

Edit request on 4 August 2012[edit]

In the "temperature taking" section, "ooperate" should be "cooperate". Just a minor typographical error. ScottHorn (talk) 19:04, 4 August 2012 (UTC)

Done RudolfRed (talk) 22:15, 4 August 2012 (UTC)

Edit request on 27 August 2012[edit]

In the section 'Role in human defecation', after 'is absorbed' add 'from the feces' or similar, to make it clear which way the water goes. (talk) 23:06, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

Done A boat that can float! (watch me float!) 13:44, 30 August 2012 (UTC)

Overly graphic photo of non-essential[edit]

The photo on the right-hand side titled "Rectum" seems not very closely tied to the subject and is graphic to the point of being shocking. Its focus is on a number of female organs and other parts of the body that aren't part of nor visible from the rectum. The rectum is shown as a minor background component. The focus of the picture would seem much more suited for an article on more anterior parts of female anatomy.

What makes this illustration excessively disturbing is that it is a PHOTO that is too unexpectedly and unnecessarily explicit for the venue. The photo was obviously taken of a dead woman's bottom that had been cut open.

  • If an in-depth illustration of this specific view of these portions of human anatomy is actually considered necessary for covering the topic (& the fact that male anatomy isn't illustrated similarly would support that it isn't necessary), it would be much more appropriate to provide a DRAWING of this angle for view by the public at-large, since most people aren't acclimated to nor wishing to find extremely graphic medical images of sensitive scenarios (ie. photos of dead people's bodies sliced open). The fact that most of the subject matter is not intuitively to be expected as a central focus, makes encountering the photo an intrusive rather than sought-out & expected viewing.

This photo may be very useful in articles or venues where viewers (including young viewers) aren't likely to encounter it unexpectly and find this degree of graphic illustration offensive or traumatizing. Either an article on female anatomy or anal sex would seem more appropriate.

Please would the editors for this page to re-evaluate whether including this photograph may make viewing the page a negative experience, rather than providing the sort and level of information that viewers are seeking & anticipating. Wikipedia should be a source where people should be able to find educational information without disruptively having to view an overly graphic photo of a generally disturbing scenario that is not focused on the searched-for topic & is non-essential. Field In (talk) 23:15, 2 September 2012 (UTC)

Are you talking about this photo? Nothing at all offensive here. The dissection is vital to show reality which is so different from even the most detailed medical illustration. Variation is also demonstrated. This person would have consented to having their body dissected for educational purposes. There is no reason to remove this dissection as it contributes a lot to the text.tepi (talk) 22:50, 22 September 2012 (UTC)

Error in definition?[edit]

The article states that the rectum terminates at the anus. This is poorly worded if not plain wrong. The ASCRS textbook states

"Both proximal and distal limits of the rectum are controversial: the rectosigmoid junction is considered to be at the level of the third sacral vertebra by anatomists but at the sacral promontory by surgeons, and likewise, the distal limit is regarded to be the muscular anorectal ring by surgeons and the dentate line by anatomists."

The importance of this is that the rectum terminates in the anal canal, which in turns terminates in the anal verge (the anus).

I have updated the text to reflect this.tepi (talk) 22:38, 22 September 2012 (UTC)

Proposed merge with Rectal ampulla[edit]

Easily merged Tom (LT) (talk) 04:08, 3 May 2015 (UTC)