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Tenesmus – Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

Written by Dr.Mary

What is Tenesmus?

Tenesmus is the feeling or sensation of continually needing to have a bowel movement – or, in less common situation, urinate – even if the bowels or bladder are empty already. This can involve straining, pain, as well as cramping.

Tenesmus Symptoms

In many case tenesmus is a condition that is painful and involves the patient continually feeling the urge to vacant his bowel; if excrement does not follow rapidly, the individual may strain to pass a stool. Together with this sensation, the individual also experiences cramps, pain as well as pain that is shooting around the anus.

This problem can become worse if the patient is suffering with constipation, and when he is unable to eradicate the surplus that clogs up on the colon. The excess can become toxic quickly. The sufferer of tenesmus should consult a physician as early as possible due to the fact that the condition could be caused by some other very serious problem, such as endometriosis, colo-rectal cancer, or thrombosed hemorrhoids.

Symptoms can include:

  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Bloody stools
  • Fever, chills
  • Pain in the abdominal area

Before beginning treatment for this condition it is important to know the cause of this condition. The underlying cause should be treated first. This helps in improving the general condition of the individual and makes the treatment much easier.

Tenesmus Causes

This is a condition that arises due to bowel inflammation. This inflammation may be due to any type of contamination or may transpire as a portion of any other disorder of motility of the intestine. Individual who feel pain from tenesmus usually push hard and strain to pass stool.


There are several causes of tenesmus, such as:

  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Colon infection
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Intestinal motility disorder
  • Constipation
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Rectal abscess
  • Rectal fissue
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Prolapsed hemorrhoids
  • Colon cancer
  • Shigellosis
  • Lymphogranuloma venereum
  • Celiac disease
  • Prolapsed hemorrhoids
  • Rectal gonorrhea
  • Radiation proctitis
  • Parasitic infection
  • Infectious colitis

Tenesmus Treatment

When tenesmus is instigated by Crohn’s disease, the management begins by consuming more fiber and the fluid in the diet.

If any type of infection is discovered thru various tests then medication such as antibiotics are normally prescribed to clean up the infection.

Basically any treatment of tenesmus differs according to causal condition.

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