Skip to content


The tenesmus rectal defined as a condition that occurs in the final part of the digestive system , usually affecting the colon, rectum and anus. It causes a continuous sensation of defecation, accompanied by pain and discomfort in the area. This sensation occurs even when the intestines are empty. That is why patients tend to defecate small amounts.

It is not a disease in itself, but a symptom of a certain disorder. Thus, when a patient has a continuous sensation of evacuation but still does not eliminate a large amount of stool, it is important to see a doctor.

Tenesmus: definition

Urgent need to defecate is called tenesmus , even if the intestines are already empty. Sometimes it is accompanied by pain, as well as abdominal cramps. In the vast majority of cases, it is a symptom of inflammatory bowel diseases.

Tenesmus sufferers go to great lengths to empty their bowels , but are only able to pass a minimal amount of stool.

Types of tenesmus

Bladder tenesmus

Urinary urgency , also known as urinary urgency , is a condition that can manifest itself in two different ways. On the one hand, as frequency , that is, the increase in the number of daily urinations. And, on the other hand, by way of nocturia, what is known as urinating several times throughout the night.

Urinary urgency is relatively common in pregnant women . During pregnancy, women urinate more frequently, both during the day and at night, especially during the third trimester.

Other causes that give rise to this condition is the application of radiotherapy in the pelvic area as a result of a malignant tumor, as well as the excessive consumption of alcoholic and / or caffeinated beverages.

Urinary urgency is a symptom of various diseases:

  • Cystitis : Cystitis is known as inflammation of the bladder, usually caused by a bacterial infection. The main symptom is the constant need to urinate, which is accompanied by others such as a burning sensation when urinating, the presence of blood in the urine and discomfort in the pelvis.
  • Urethritis : urethritis is a disease characterized by the urethra, the main symptoms of which are two. On the one hand, pain when urinating, especially in men. And, on the other hand, the urethral discharge.
  • Prostate cancer: this is a malignant tumor that is located in the prostate and that affects men. Urinary urgency is a very common symptom. It manifests itself accompanied by others such as pain when urinating, and the presence of blood in urination and in semen.
  • Vaginitis: Vaginitis is the term for inflammation of the vagina. This disease causes itching and pain in the area, as well as frequent urination and discharge.

Rectal tenesmus

The rectal tenesmus is given more frequently. It is known as such the feeling of needing to evacuate the intestines, even after having done it. Some patients make such an effort to defecate that various complications may appear, such as constipation or anal fissure.

The pain defecating is very common, in the same way as abdominal pain. The latter presents in a similar way to colic, appearing suddenly and affecting the entire abdomen.

Rectal tenesmus is also characterized because the amount of expelled stool is minimal despite the efforts made. Thus, when the digestive system does not work properly, constipation is very likely to arise.

Causes of tenesmus

Rectal tenesmus can respond to a wide range of causes. It is important to find the origin of this condition and establish the most appropriate treatment.


The Gonorrhea is one of the STDs that occur more frequently, especially among young people. It causes infections in both the genitals and the rectum and throat.

Thus, tenesmus is one of the main symptoms of this disease. Those who suffer from it have a continuous sensation of defecation or urination.

Chronic constipation

Chronic constipation is another of the probable causes of this condition. Constipation as such is known as a disorder characterized by having a bowel movement less than three times a week, as well as having difficulty emptying the intestine .

When it takes a chronic character, the constant sensation of having a bowel movement is a common symptom. Despite the efforts made, patients pass only minimal amounts of stool.

Internal hemorrhoids

The Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the anorectal region . They become inflamed, causing both pain and bleeding. When the piles are internal, the dilated veins are inside the rectum, so they do not come out through the anus.

Anorectal abscess

It is known as anorectal abscess to the accumulation of pus in the anus and rectum. One of the most frequent causes of this condition is the infection of an anal fissure, although sometimes it is also due to a sexually transmitted infection.

In case the rectal abscess is deep, the cause may be in a certain disease of the intestines, such as diverticulitis. It is a disorder characterized by the inflammation of the diverticula, the bags that make up the intestinal walls.

Colorectal cancer

Colorectal cancer is a malignant tumor that originates in the colon or rectum. Depending on its location, it takes the name of colon cancer or rectal cancer. In almost 100% of cases, the cause is the growth of polyps in the lining of the colorectal area. Over time, these polyps can turn into cancer, although it does not necessarily have to be this way.

The most common symptoms are: changes in intestinal transit, tenesmus, presence of blood in the stool , a feeling of bloating in the abdomen, progressive weight loss for no apparent reason, and fatigue.

Infectious colitis

Infectious colitis is how the inflammation of the colon , the large intestine, is known . The causes of this disease can be very diverse: infection by a microorganism, food poisoning, Crohn’s disease , etc.

The symptoms that occur in the vast majority of patients are: severe abdominal pain, presence of blood in the stool, excessive sweating, tenesmus, constant urge to evacuate, diarrhea and dehydration .

Ulcerative Colitis

As for ulcerative colitis, it is a disorder that causes the development of ulcers in the membrane that lines the colon and rectum. In many cases it is a hereditary disease that gives rise to the following symptoms: abdominal pain. loss of appetite, skin sores, joint pain, and tiredness for no apparent reason.

Crohn’s disease

Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory disorder that affects the intestines. Taking into account that it can affect different areas of both the large and small intestine, the signs vary significantly between some patients and others. The most common are: colic, severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, tenesmus and fever .

Symptoms of tenesmus

Regarding the symptoms of rectal tenesmus , the one that rectals most frequently in patients is pain, which occurs in two different ways. On the one hand, abdominal pain, which appears as severe colic. When patients empty the intestine it relieves for a few minutes, but it recurs in the short term.

And, on the other hand, the pain when defecating . When stool passes through the rectum and anal canal to the outside, it causes discomfort that feels like a tear. In many cases, this pain does not go away until long after you have a bowel movement.

Another symptom of this condition is that the feces are very scarce . In addition, they can change both their shape and consistency: in some cases they are very liquid, while in others they are excessively solid. It is common that due to the effort made when evacuating, they present both mucus and blood.

There are a series of serious symptoms for which you should see a doctor as soon as possible: intense and constant abdominal pain, presence of blood in the stool, chills , fever, sweating, nausea and vomiting.

Psychological problems

There are many patients with tenesmus who develop psychological problems due to the difficulties that this condition generates in their daily lives. The need to evacuate constantly, as well as the pain and the feeling of permanent incomplete evacuation, generate problems in all areas of life: personal, work, social, etc.

That is why in the presence of one or more of the symptoms described, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible. The doctor can determine what is the cause of tenesmus and establish the most appropriate treatment.

Diagnosis of tenesmus

Given the symptoms described in the previous section, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible. When the continuous sensation of defecation lasts several days, a diagnosis must be established and the most appropriate treatment determined.

The doctor first takes a medical history, assessing both the symptoms presented and the patient’s state of health. To do this, it takes into account whether you have suffered from intestinal diseases before, as well as any other pathology related to the digestive system.

The doctor then performs a series of tests to establish the diagnosis. The first and most common is a rectal examination . If you suspect that there is an abnormality in the colon, you can request a colonoscopy . It is an exam that allows to analyze both the colon and the rectum in a comprehensive way. To do this, a colonoscope, a flexible tube between 122 and 183 centimeters long, is inserted through the anus. At one of its ends it incorporates a video camera, through which the doctor observes the intestine.

Treatment of tenesmus

Treatment for this condition largely depends on what the cause is. In the case of rectal tenesmus, the consumption of anti – inflammatories is common . If it is a symptom of an anal abscess or anal infection, it is essential to treat the disease with antibiotics.

Sometimes the doctor recommends treatment with laxatives and stool softeners to avoid irritation of the rectum and anal canal. In this way, pain is greatly relieved, thus improving the quality of life of patients.

Diet and exercise

Food plays a very important role in treating this condition. It is recommended to follow a diet with a high fiber content to promote intestinal transit and thus avoid constipation. Experts recommend consuming 20 grams of fiber daily. Thus, the stool is softer and can pass through the intestine more easily, without causing pain.

Drinking plenty of fluids is part of the treatment. Doctors recommend drinking large amounts of water, in addition to natural fruit juices. This softens the stool and can be eliminated more easily, reducing pain. In addition, the risk of hemorrhoids is minimized.

The exercise is also important because it helps stimulate bowel movements. In addition, it greatly favors good health both physically and mentally.

Website | + posts

Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of ​​Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *