Tenesmus: The Troubling Symptom you can’t Ignore

Do you continuously feel the need to empty your bowels? Is passing stools painful? If yes, then you may be suffering from Tenesmus.

What is Tenesmus?

It is the feeling that you need to pass stools, even though your bowels are already empty. It may involve straining, pain, and cramping. When you have this disease, you may strain harder to produce only a little amount of stool during bowel movements.

When the word Tenesmus is used as a standalone term, it generally refers to Rectal Tenesmus. Bladder Tenesmus is also known as Vesical Tenesmus.

What is Vesical Tenesmus?

It is the feeling of constantly needing to urinate, even when the bladder has already been emptied.


It is most often caused by any of a number of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs). An IBD is an inflammation in all or a few parts of your gastrointestinal (GI) tract or digestive tract. Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative colitis are the most common forms of IBD. Other conditions linked with this disease are:

  • Colon infection
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Diverticular disease
  • Inflammation of the colon due to radiation
  • Abnormal movement of food or waste in the digestive tract
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Prolapsed hemorrhoid
  • Rectal abscess
  • Rectal gonorrhea


The main symptom of Tenesmus is that you feel like you need to have a bowel movement, even if you already have had one, and your bowels are empty. While this is the main and most prominent symptom, there are some other symptoms you should be aware of:

  • Urgency to empty the bowels
  • Pain in the abdominal area
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Fever or chills
  • Blood in Stool
  • Cramps

When to see a Doctor?

If you experience this disorder regularly, talk to your doctor about your symptoms. Prompt medical treatment should be taken if other symptoms linked with IBD are experienced, such as abdominal pain, blood in the stool, chills, fever, nausea, and vomiting. A detailed abdominal examination and rectal examination may be required.


Treatment depends on the severity of this disease and its underlying causes. Treatments for IBD aim to relief discomfort, achieve and maintain remission of symptoms, and avoid any complications. Drugs are available for relieving the symptoms of IBD, including Tenesmus. Surgical procedures can be used to expand a small bowel or to eliminate strictures that are causing Tenesmus and other IBD symptoms.

However, there are few home remedies and lifestyle changes that can help:

  • Avoid Fatty foods
  • Eat more fiber
  • Stay hydrated
  • Exercise regularly (Read More)
  • Stress management
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