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Alternative namesPain - passing stool; Painful stools; Difficulty passing stool
DefinitionTenesmus is the constant feeling of the need to empty the bowel, accompanied by pain, cramping, and involuntary straining efforts.
ConsiderationsTenesmus is generally associated with inflammatory diseases of the bowel, which may be caused by either infectious or noninfectious conditions. Tenesmus is characterized by a sensation of needing to pass stool, accompanied by pain, cramping, and straining. Despite straining, little stool is passed.
If you feel that you are constipated, try to increase your fluid and fiber intake.
Call your health care provider if
Tenesmus continues, whether it is constant or intermittent. Contact your doctor if there is abdominal pain, fever, chills, blood in the stool, nausea, or vomiting. It may be a sign of an underlying disorder.
The medical history will be obtained and a physical examination performed.
Medical history questions documenting tenesmus in detail may include:
The physical examination may include a detailed abdominal examination. A rectal examination -- and prostate check for men -- is performed in most cases.
You may want to add a diagnosis related to tenesmus to your personal medical record.
Update Date: 1/26/2004Sreeni Jonnalagadda, M.D., Interventional and Pancreatobiliary Endoscopy, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT