Jump to navigation. The term 'constipation' is defined as difficulty in passing stool and reduced frequency of bowel movements. It is characterised by discomfort, excessive straining, hard or lumpy stools, a sensation of incomplete evacuation, and infrequent bowel movements. Constipation is a common symptom experienced during pregnancy. This can result from a combination of factors, including changes in hormones during pregnancy affecting the digestive system, reduced physical activity and changes in dietary habits during pregnancy.
The studies looked at stimulant laxatives compared with bulk-forming laxatives and dietary fibre supplementation versus no intervention. The results should therefore be interpreted with caution. This way your GP can feel for any stools which may have collected. You will then lie on your side while the GP performs a rectal examination using a lubricated, gloved Treatment of chronic constipation in pregnancy. If your stools are soft, but you are still having difficulty passing Intel webcams, your GP may prescribe you a stimulant laxative. Results for Senokot and Normax were very similar, thus results for the individual drugs largely reflected findings for the combined analysisalthough when individual drugs were compared with bulk-forming laxatives there was no longer a clear difference between groups in terms of abdominal discomfort and diarrhoea.
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Request an Appointment at Mayo Clinic. Almost three out of four pregnant women will experience constipation and other bowel issues at some point, according to a study published in Acta Tteatment et Gynecologica Scandinavica. This will help keep your bowels soft and moving Treqtment through your digestive tract. Teas for Constipation Relief. Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products. It also supplies pregnant women with vitamins and antioxidants. This will allow Riding mower transmission diagram stomach to digest food without having to work overtime, and allow it to transfer food to the intestine and colon smoothly. The passage of hard stools. This can lead to constipation. Ohkusa T, et al. Bharucha AE, et al. Exercise stimulates your bowels. Having chronic constipation may be a sign pregjancy another underlying condition. Constipation is common during pregnancy. Pregnant women should try to exercise three times a week for 20 to 30 minutes each.
Constipation is a common gastrointestinal symptom in pregnancy, particularly in the first trimester.
- Hormonal changes, pressure on the womb, and the iron in prenatal vitamins are to blame.
- Chronic constipation is infrequent bowel movements or difficult passage of stools that persists for several weeks or longer.
Constipation is a very common condition that affects people of all ages. When you are constipated, you feel that you are not passing stools faeces as often as your normally do, or that you have to strain more than usual, or that you are unable to completely empty your bowels. Constipation can also cause your stools to be unusually hard, lumpy, large or small.
The severity of constipation can vary greatly. Many people only experience constipation for a short period of time with no lasting effects on their health. For others, constipation can be a chronic long-term condition which causes significant pain and discomfort. Chronic constipation can also lead to complications, such as faecal impaction where dry, hard stools collect in your rectum or faecal incontinence where you involuntarily leak liquid stools around solid impacted stools.
The treatment for constipation is usually very effective, although in some cases it can take several months before a regular bowel pattern is re-established. Constipation affects twice as many women than men, and is more common in the elderly. For example, some adults normally go to the toilet more than once a day, whereas others may normally go only every three or four days.
And, some infants may normally pass stool several times a day, while others may normally pass stool only a few times a week. When you are constipated you feel that passing stools has become more difficult than it used to be.
Passing stools may feel more difficult for a number of reasons reasons. For example, passing stools may have become significantly less frequent, or significantly less effective you feel that you are unable to completely empty your bowel. As well as causing a change in your normal bowel habits, constipation can also cause the following symptoms:.
As well as infrequent, or irregular, bowel movements, a child with constipation may also display the following signs and symptoms:. If your child is displaying these symptoms, or has spoken to you about having difficulty in passing stools, you should speak to your GP. Most cases of constipation are not caused by a specific condition, and it may be difficult to identify the exact cause of your constipation. However, there are several factors which can increase your chances of having constipation.
These include the following:. Sometimes, constipation may be a side effect of a medicine that you are taking. Some of the most common types of medication which can cause constipation include:. If your constipation is being caused by medication, you will usually find that the condition eases once you stop taking the medicine.
However, under no circumstances should you stop taking your medication unless your GP specifically advises you to. Speak to your GP if you are experiencing constipation due to a medicine, because they may be able to prescribe an alternative medication for you.
Constipation during pregnancy is very common. Most pregnant women tend to be affected during the early stages of their pregnancy. Constipation occurs during pregnancy as a result of the hormonal changes in your body. During pregnancy, your body produces more of the female hormone called progesterone. This hormone acts as a muscle relaxant.
Your bowel normally moves stools and waste products along to the anus by a process known as peristalsis. This is when the muscles which line the bowel contract and relax, in a rippling, wave-like motion. An increase in progesterone means that the bowel muscles find it more difficult to contract, making it harder to move waste products along. If you are pregnant, there are ways that you can safely treat constipation which will not cause harm to you or your baby.
The majority of constipation cases are not caused by a particular medical condition. However, constipation can very rarely be a sign of an underlying condition. In adults such conditions include:. Constipation in babies and children is quite common. For example, poor diet, fear about using the toilet and poor toilet training can all cause constipation in babies and children.
Children who are overfed are more likely to have constipation, as are those who do not get enough fluids. Babies who have too much milk are also more likely to get constipation. As with adults, it is very important that your child has enough fibre in their diet. Make sure that you do not make your child feel stressed, or pressured, about using the toilet. It is also important to let your children try things by themselves when appropriate. Constantly intervening when they are using the toilet may make them feel anxious.
Some children can feel stressed or anxious about using the toilet. They may have a phobia about using the toilet, or feel that they are unable to use the toilets at school. This fear or phobia may be the result of your child experiencing pain when passing stools. This can lead to poor bowel habits, where children ignore the urge to pass stools and instead withhold them, for fear of experiencing pain and discomfort.
However, this will mean that their condition only worsens. However, constipation can rarely be a sign of an underlying condition.
In children such conditions include:. Constipation is a very common condition. Your GP will rarely need to carry out any tests or procedures to confirm your diagnosis. Instead, they will usually diagnose your condition based on your medical history and your symptoms. Your GP will ask you some questions about your bowel habits. Do not feel embarrassed about describing your bowel pattern and stools to your GP. It is important that your GP is aware of all of your symptoms so that they can make the correct diagnosis.
Your GP may also ask questions about your diet, your level of exercise, and whether there have been any recent changes in your routines, or lifestyle. If your GP suspects that you may have faecal impaction when dry, hard stools collect in your rectum they may decide to carry out a physical examination. A typical examination will begin with you lying on your back while the GP feels your abdomen. You will then lie on your side while the GP performs a rectal examination using a lubricated, gloved finger.
This way your GP can feel for any stools which may have collected. Your GP will rarely have to conduct an internal physical examination on a child.
Instead, the diagnosis can normally be made by feeling their abdomen tummy. The first way that your GP will treat your constipation is by advising you about ways you can change your diet and lifestyle. Changing what you eat and drink may mean that your constipation passes without the use of medication. Laxatives are a type of medicine that help you to pass stools.
There are several different types of laxative and each one has a different effect on your digestive system. Your GP will normally start your laxative treatment by using a bulk-forming laxative. These types of laxative work by helping your stools to retain fluid. Bulk-forming laxatives also make your stools denser and softer which means that they should be easier to pass. Commonly prescribed bulk-forming laxatives include ispaghula husk, methylcellulose, and sterculia.
When taking this type of laxative, you must make sure that you drink plenty of fluids. Also, you should not take them before going to bed. It will usually be days before you feel the effects of a bulk-forming laxative. If your stools remain hard after you have taken a bulk-forming laxative, your GP may prescribe you an osmotic laxative instead.
Osmotic laxatives work by increasing the amount of fluid in your bowels. This helps to stimulate your body to pass stools. Osmotic laxatives can also help by softening your stools. Commonly prescribed osmotic laxatives include lactulose and macrogols. As with bulk-forming laxatives, you should make sure that you are drinking enough fluids. It will usually be days before you feel the effect of the laxative.
If your stools are soft, but you are still having difficulty passing them, your GP may prescribe you a stimulant laxative. This type of laxative works by stimulating the muscles which line your digestive tract, helping them to move stools and waste products along the large intestine colon to the anus. The most commonly prescribed stimulant laxatives are senna, bisacodyl and sodium picosulphate. These types of laxative are usually only used on a short-term basis, and you will usually start to feel them working within hours.
According to your individual preference, and the speed with which you require relief, your GP may decide to combine different laxatives. If you have only experienced constipation for a short period of time, your GP will normally recommend that you can stop taking the laxative once your stools are soft and easily passed.
However, if you have constipation due to a constipating medicine, or an underlying medical condition, you may have to take laxatives for much longer. Sometimes, you will have to take them for many months, even years. If you have been taking laxatives for some time, you may have to gradually reduce your dosage, rather than coming off them straight away.
If you have been prescribed a combination of laxatives, you will normally have to reduce the dosage of each laxative, one at a time, before you can stop taking them. This can take several months. Your GP will advise you about when it is best to stop taking your laxatives.
You should never stop taking any form of medication unless your GP advises you to. Faecal impaction occurs when stools become hard and dry and collect in your rectum. This obstructs the rectum, making it more difficult for stools to pass along. If you have faecal impaction, you will initially be treated with a high dose of the osmotic laxative, macrogol.
Constipation is common during pregnancy. Chronic constipation. American Gastroenterological Association Institute guideline on medical management of opioid-induced constipation. Or roast some sweet corn, Brussels sprouts, and carrots for a delightful side dish. Accessed June 6,
Treatment of chronic constipation in pregnancy. Why Am I Constipated?
Constipation | Australian Government Department of Health
Hormonal changes, pressure on the womb, and the iron in prenatal vitamins are to blame. That includes your intestines. And slower moving intestines means slower digestion. This can lead to constipation. Constipation is common during pregnancy. Almost three out of four pregnant women will experience constipation and other bowel issues at some point, according to a study published in Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica. From over-the-counter pills to natural cures, there are a whole host of remedies available for relieving constipation.
A diet high in fiber helps prevention constipation. It also supplies pregnant women with vitamins and antioxidants. Pregnant women should try to consume 25 to 30 grams of dietary fiber each day to stay regular and healthy. Good choices include fresh fruits, vegetables , beans , peas, lentils, bran cereals, prunes , and whole-grain bread. Try cutting up some raspberries, apples, bananas, figs, and strawberries for a refreshing fruit salad.
Or roast some sweet corn, Brussels sprouts, and carrots for a delightful side dish. That might mean doubling your water intake. Pregnant women should drink at least eight ounce glasses of water a day. This will help keep your bowels soft and moving smoothly through your digestive tract.
Try breaking up your daily food intake into five or six smaller meals to help with constipation relief. This will allow the stomach to digest food without having to work overtime, and allow it to transfer food to the intestine and colon smoothly. Regular physical activity can help reduce constipation.
Exercise stimulates your bowels. Pregnant women should try to exercise three times a week for 20 to 30 minutes each. The options for exercise are endless. Try walking down your favorite hiking path, swimming at your local gym, or practicing prenatal yoga on a relaxing afternoon. If other natural options have failed, doctors will sometimes prescribe stool softeners like Colace on a short-term basis to help pregnant women with constipation.
Colace stool softeners are available online. However, long-term use can lead to dehydration or change your electrolyte balance. Stool softeners help moisten your bowels so they are easier to pass. They are especially useful for pregnant women taking constipation-causing iron supplements. Doctors will often prescribe softeners along with iron pills.
You can find a variety of iron supplements here. Just follow the steps above to help ease the discomfort of backed up bowels while you wait for your little one to arrive. You may experience digestive issues, such as constipation or gas, during the second trimester of pregnancy. Learn techniques that can help. Abdominal pain during pregnancy is common, but it can be concerning.
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There are many ways to help relieve constipation during pregnancy. Learn if Colace may be a safe option for you. If you buy something through a link on this page, we may earn a small commission. How this works. Infrequent bowel movements.
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