We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Tenesmus?

Allison Boelcke
By
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Tenesmus is the persistent feeling of needing to pass a bowel movement, regardless of the actual physical need to release solid waste. It can result in a person involuntary struggling to pass stool. A person with the condition will release little to no fecal matter when they attempt to pass stool. This can cause pain in the rectal area and result in solid waste building up in the intestines, making the abdominal muscles feel cramped.

The condition is usually a symptom of another underlying medical issue affecting the rectum or intestines. It can be the result of bacterial infections of the bowels, rectum or digestive system. Tenesmus can also be caused by other, more serious diseases that prevent the intestinal system from working properly.

Crohn's disease is an incurable condition that causes gastrointestinal irritation due to an abnormality in the immune system. The body fights substances from everyday digested foods that are normal because it mistakes them for disease or bacteria. This can result in irritation and cause swelling and pain in the gastrointestinal tract. The swelling and pain can spread to the rectal area and cause tenesmus.

Tenesmus can also be a symptom of an anorectal abscess, a pus-filled pocket in or near the rectal area. An abscess can occur if an anal gland becomes clogged or if there is an bacterial infection around the anus. Bacterial infections can happen in infants who wear diapers because their bare skin is constantly exposed to fecal bacteria. It can also occur in adults as a result of sexually transmitted diseases caused by anal sexual intercourse. Anorectal abscesses are usually not serious and can easily be treated.

The condition may also occur as a symptom of colorectal cancer. In more advanced cases of colorectal cancer, a tumor may form in the rectal area. The mass can irritate the area and cause blockage that prevents stool from exiting.

Since tenesmus is typically a sign of another condition, it usually subsides once the other issue is treated. If it is a complication of Crohn’s disease, medication can reduce gastrointestinal irritation, or surgery can be performed in order to repair any damaged intestines. For a case caused by an anorectal abscess, the pus-filled pocket can be treated by a procedure to surgically remove the pus. Further infection can be prevented by keeping the anal area clean and disinfected or by using condoms during anal intercourse to prevent sexually transmitted diseases. Tenesmus that is a symptom of colorectal cancer may subside after cancer treatment.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Allison Boelcke
By Allison Boelcke
Allison Boelcke, a digital marketing manager and freelance writer, helps businesses create compelling content to connect with their target markets and drive results. With a degree in English, she combines her writing skills with marketing expertise to craft engaging content that gets noticed and leads to website traffic and conversions. Her ability to understand and connect with target audiences makes her a valuable asset to any content creation team.
Discussion Comments
By cloudel — On Oct 15, 2011

I have been battling Crohn’s disease for decades, and I have experienced tenesmus. It is a really unsettling feeling.

I hesitate to go out with my friends, because I get frequent urges to go to the bathroom. Though nothing usually comes out, every time I feel the need, I feel it’s best to go, because I have had diarrhea pop up on me suddenly, due to Crohn’s.

I can tell when the stools are storing up in my intestines. I feel heavy in my colon, but there’s nothing I can do about it. It’s a miserable way to live.

Allison Boelcke
Allison Boelcke
Allison Boelcke, a digital marketing manager and freelance writer, helps businesses create compelling content to connect with their target markets and drive results. With a degree in English, she combines her writing skills with marketing expertise to craft engaging content that gets noticed and leads to website traffic and conversions. Her ability to understand and connect with target audiences makes her a valuable asset to any content creation team.
The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.