Rectum and Anus

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The rectum and anus are the final stages of the digestive tract. The rectum is the last straight section of the large intestine before reaching the anus. The anus is the opening at the lower end of the digestive tract that controls the expulsion of feces. Read on to learn more about the rectum and anus, and their role in digestion.

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Rectum and Anus

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Rectum, anus and sphincters
Rectum, Anus and Sphincters

The rectum provides temporary storage for feces before they are expelled. As the rectal walls expand due to collecting feces, stretch receptors in the rectal walls stimulate the desire to defecate. Peristaltic waves then push the feces out of the rectum.

The anus controls the expulsion of the feces. The flow of feces through the anus is controlled by the anal sphincter muscle. The internal and external sphincter muscles relax, allowing the feces to be passed by muscles and pulling the anus up over the exiting feces.

 

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