Tenesmus Causes And Treatment

Tenesmus is the urge to pass stool. This feeling can arise even if the bowels are already empty. Tenesmus most commonly involves straining, pain or cramping. This condition arises due to the inflammation of the bowels. The inflammation can be a consequence of any kind of infection or can occur as a part of any other motility disorder of the intestine. People who suffer from Tenesmus generally strain and push hard to pass stool.

Causes of Tenesmus:

-colon infection

-inflammatory bowel disease

-ulcerative colitis

-intestinal motility disorder

-crohn’s disease

-cancer in the colorectal area

-Inflammation of the rectum or the colon

-anorectal abscess




-nausea, vomiting

-fever, chills

-bloody stool

-pain in the abdominal area


Before starting the treatment of Tenesmus, it is important to know the cause of the condition. The underlying cause of the condition should be treated first. This will help in improving the general condition of the patient and hence makes the treatment much easier.


The doctor starts the diagnosis by taking through history of the patient. While taking the history the doctor may start by asking the patient questions on the time of onset of the condition. That is if the Tenesmus has just developed in the recent past or if it has occurred before. If Tenesmus is constant or the need to empty the stool is intermittent.

Questions regarding the various symptoms may be asked like if any pain is present in the abdomen area or if it is cramping that is causing discomfort. History of diarrhea or vomiting or any other symptoms should be taken into consideration.

Diet history is also important. Question regarding the normal diet pattern are asked.

All this information is needed to come to a correct diagnosis.

The doctor may examine the abdomen. Rectal examination may also be performed. In most cases a prostate exam is also done in men.

Tests like colonoscopy are done. By performing these tests any kind of injury or damage to the colon or the rectum can be studies and treated accordingly. A complete blood count is done. Also the electrolyte balance in the body is studied. Sometimes there may be a need to perform the CT scan of the abdomen. A culture examination of the stool is also done.

These tests will help us in knowing where the exact problem lies. The treatment procedure will follow after the causative factor of Tenesmus is known.



Before treating Tenesmus it is important to know the causative factor for it.

In patients who suffer from cancer, they can respond to opioid analgesic and other drugs like gabapentine.

Sometimes a dose of nifedipine is given. This dose may be an oral dose of 5/20 mg twice a day.

When Tenesmus is caused by crohn’s disease, the treatment starts by increasing the fiber as well as the fluid content in the diet.

If any kind of infection is detected by performing the various tests then drugs such as metronidazole or ciprofloxin are generally prescribed.

Treatment of Tenesmus differs according to the condition that causes it.

Similar Posts:

GD Star Rating
GD Star Rating
Tenesmus Causes And Treatment, 8.6 out of 10 based on 45 ratings
  1. Aaron Ingreso

    My father is having this feeling of having to poop intermittently within the last 6 months. He has had colonoscopy and the finding was normal. I was just wondering what this could be? He is not constipated nor does he have diarrhea either.

  2. Hi. I am not a doctor but I have been suffering from tenesmus type symptoms for several years. I just recently found out that some medications can cause it. The one specific medication that can cause it is Ambien believe it or not. If you dig deep enough, I believe on their own website, and download the PDF document that describes the medication in detail, on about the 4th page in very tiny letters under “Rare” side effects.. it says “Tenesmus”. This made me very angry because they literally buried this information. It is not even in the pamphlet that comes with the prescription when you pick it up!! So I am currently trying to wean myself off the Ambien. The more I take, the worse it gets the next day. The less I take, the better I am. Hope this helps. Have your Father go over all his meds with his doctor and then do some digging on his own about their side effects. My doctor did not even know about this side effect.. again because the makers of Ambien buried it down deep in their literature. Good luck and have a very Happy and Safe, and Prosperous New Year.

Leave a Comment