Obstructed Defecation Syndrome (ODS)

Obstructed defecation, is “difficulty in evacuation or emptying the rectum [which] may occur even with frequent visits to the toilet and even with passing soft motions”. The conditions that can create the symptom are sometimes grouped together as defecation disorders. The symptom tenesmus is a closely related topic. Another source defines evacuatory dysfunction as “a constellation of symptoms such as prolonged repeated straining at bowel movements, sensation of incomplete evacuation, and the need for digital manipulation”.

  • Some describe an “obstructed defecation syndrome”, defining it loosely as “difficulty in evacuation, which may or may not be associated with constipation”
  • Others inappropriately equate obstructed defecation with anismus.
  • Although anismus is a type of obstructed defecation, obstructed defecation has many other possible causes other than anismus.