Imperforate anus is a congenital (present at birth) anorectal disorder that prevents a child from having normal bowel movements. Also known as anorectal malformation, this condition causes the opening of the anus to be too small, located in an unusual location or missing.

Symptoms of Imperforate Anus

Signs and symptoms of imperforate anus include:

  • Anal opening very close to the vagina (in girls) (often called anterior anus)
  • Anus in an unusual location or no anus exists at all
  • Failure to have a bowel movement within 24 to 48 hours after birth
  • Swollen belly

When to see a doctor

Nearly all cases of imperforate anus are diagnosed during a physical exam completed shortly after a baby is born. If your child was treated for imperforate anus as a baby and experiences any of the following during childhood, you should call their pediatrician immediately:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Chronic constipation
  • No bowel control by age 3

Causes of Imperforate Anus

This condition is due to a birth defect, where the opening of the anus did not properly form during fetal development.

Who’s at risk

You may be at an increased risk of having a baby with imperforate anus if others in your family have this condition.

Request an Appointment

Contact an Orlando Health doctor

If you suspect that your child may have an imperforate anus, make an appointment with an Orlando Health pediatrician today so your child can start on the road to improved health.