This fact sheet explains what constipation is and suggests some ideas for improvement and tells you where to get more help.
What is constipation?
Constipation is a common disorder where bowel actions ('poo' or faeces) are not easily and/or less frequently passed. Symptoms of constipation include:
What does being 'Regular' mean?
What can cause constipation?
What should your 'poo' look like?
Your poo should be light or dark brown, sausage-shaped, soft but firm, easy to pass and with minimal odour. Aim to have a type 3 or type 4 bowel action.
Common Bowel Problems
Faecal Impaction - When constipation causes faeces to pack the intestine (digestive tract) so tightly that your normal pushing action in the toilet is not strong enough to push the faeces out.
Faecal Incontinence (sometimes referred to as 'soiling') - This is the accidental loss of liquid or solid faeces. This can be due to the bowel (which stores the faeces) being too full, but this may be only one of the causes. Uncontrolled flatus ('wind') is often considered evidence of faecal incontinence.
Haemorrhoids (sometimes referred to as 'piles') - This can be the result of straining to have a bowel movement. This strain (similar to heavy lifting) can damage the rectum's veins. This can cause bleeding, soreness and itching.
Rectal Prolapse - This occurs when long-term straining causes a small amount of bowel lining to push out from the anus, which is a ring of muscle that opens and closes when we pass a bowel motion.
糞便嵌塞 – 便秘是指糞便緊塞在腸道中，上厠所時正常排便動作力量不足，無法將糞便推出。
大便失禁 (有時稱爲‘滲便’) – 這是指液態或固態糞便意外漏出。這可能是因爲大腸 (儲存糞便) 過滿，但這可能只是原因之一。無法控制的排氣 (‘放屁’)通常被認爲是大便失禁的迹象。
痔瘡 (有時稱爲‘痔’) – 這可能是大便時用力排便造成的。這種用力 (類似提舉重物)可能會損傷直腸血管。這可能會引起流血、疼痛和瘙癢。
直肠脱垂 – 这种情况的发生是因为长期过度用力导致小部分大肠壁被挤出肛门，肛门是我们排便时打开和关闭的一圈
How constipation affects bladder control
Constipation can cause accidential leakage from your bladder. An overfull bowel will cut down the volume of urine your bladder can hold and you will feel the need to go to the toilet often and in a hurry.
Here are five ways to keep your bladder and bowel healthy and prevent constipation:
Eat well to keep your bowels regular and to have a healthy body weight
Eat a healthy diet high in fibre (at least 30g per day).
Drink well to prevent constipation and bladder irritation
Drink 1.5 -2 Litres(6-8 glasses) of fluid each day unless advised otherwise by your doctor. Fluid is water, fruit juice, tea, coffee, milk, soup, jellies and icecream.
Exercise daily to prevent constipation and keep a healthy body weight
Keep your pelvic floor strong for good bladder and bowel control
Request a pelvic floor muscle exercise leaflet by calling the National Continence Helpline 1800 33 00 66.
Toileting habits - Go to the toilet as soon as you need to and empty your bowel fully. Remember to relax.
致電全國排便節制專線（National Continence Helpline）1800 33 00 66，索取一份骨盆底肌鍛鍊宣傳單。
如廁習慣 – 一有需要就上廁所，排淨大便。記得要放鬆。
Check your toileting postion:
There are three types of laxatives:
If constipation is severe or continuing, go to your Doctor.
Who can help?
The first step to improving your bowel control is to have a full continence assessment carried out by a health professional.
For more information
There are a range of health professionals who can help you deal with constipation.