Medical Definition of Tenesmus

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Reviewed on 12/27/2018

Tenesmus: Straining to defecate or urinate. Tenesmus refers especially to ineffectual and painful straining for an extended time. Straining to defecate is called rectal tenesmus; straining to urinate is called vesical tenesmus.

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Reviewed on 12/27/2018