Last revised by Daniel J Bell on 13 Jul 2021

Strangury (also known as stranguria or vesical tenesmus) describes a symptom of unintentional agonising micturition of small volumes of urine or marked desire to do so, often without any urine passed. In many cases the bladder is empty or near empty.

It has been described as the urological form of tenesmus, and hence, some have called it vesical tenesmus 3,4.


There is a dearth of literature on the pathogenesis and causes of strangury 1. The prevailing view is that there is a strong inflammatory component.


History and etymology

Latin word 'stranguria' meaning strangury, from the Greek word 'στραγγουρέω' (strangouria) meaning afflicted with strangury, from two Greek roots, 'στράγξ' (stranx) a trickle of urine and 'οὐρέω' (oureo) meaning to urinate 2,5,6.

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