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Updated May 14, 2012

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.


Anismus is a term formerly used to describe a dysfunction in the coordination of anal and rectal muscles during the process of defecation. The more currently accepted term for anismus is dyssynergic defecation.

For full information on anismus/dyssynergic defecation, see:

Also Known As:
  • Anal sphincter dyssynergia
  • Obstructive defecation
  • Paradoxical puborectal contraction
  • Pelvic floor dyssynergia
  • Pelvic outlet obstruction
  • Spastic pelvic floor syndrome

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