Proctalgia fugax , a variant of levator ani syndrome , is a severe, episodic pain in the regions of the rectum and anus. It most often occurs in the middle of the night  and lasts from seconds to minutes;  pain and aching lasting twenty minutes or longer would likely be diagnosed instead as levator ani syndrome. In a study published in involving patients, the attacks occurred in the daytime 33 per cent as well as at night 33 per cent and the average number of attacks was Onset can be in childhood; however, in multiple studies the average age of onset was Many studies showed that women are affected more commonly than men,  but this can be at least partly explained by men's reluctance to seek medical advice concerning rectal pain. To be diagnosed as proctalgia fugax, the pain must arise de novo meaning the absence of clear cause.
Proctalgia fugax and anal pain: Causes, diagnosis, and home remedies
Proctalgia is pain due to a spasm of the pelvic floor muscles, the muscles of the anal sphincter, or the muscles of the rectum. This causes severe stabbing pain like a knife sticking into the rectum. This type of pain may originate without warning. It may vary in severity and duration. It may pass quickly or might last much longer. Often the pain will be severe enough to awaken a person at night out of a sound sleep.
Medical University of South Carolina Digestive Disease Center
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Proctalgia fugax refers to the sudden onset of severe pain in the rectum area, which can last from seconds to minutes. The pain is sporadic and can be without warning. The condition is also known as functional recurrent anorectal pain. It is part of a group of disorders that affect the workings of the stomach and intestine. Proctalgia fugax means "anal pain of unknown cause.