It can. Some patients tolerate the procedure without difficulty others have issues with rectal examinations and become very sensitive to the process. Usually IV sedation is used for the procedure and sometime just topical anesthesia is used. If you relax and do not tense up most people tolerate the procedure without difficult.
Tolerable. I have found thru the years that what i describe as "uncomfortable", my patients respond as "painful". With this in mind, trus can be done without sedation if one can tolerate the pressure sensation of the probe; if one is anxious about this test, it's best to choose light sedation. Most importantly, the info may help us decide whether to treat rectal ca with pre-op chemo- and radiation rx.