Are you looking for something to clean your bowels before an upcoming treatment or surgery? …read moreSee less
Or perhaps you’re suffering from severe constipation - whichever it is, an enema can help. An enema is a liquid treatment that’s inserted into the rectum to stimulate stool, effectively clearing your bowels.
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What is an enema?
An enema is used to clean the lower half of your bowel by stimulating your stool. It’s a liquid treatment that’s commonly used to relieve severe constipation or to clear the bowel before a procedure such as an endoscopy. It helps to push waste out of the rectum when you’re unable to do so on your own.
What is faecal impaction?
Faecal impaction is when a large piece of hard, dry stool is stuck in your rectum. It usually occurs in people who are constipated or have been using laxatives for a long time. If these laxatives are suddenly stopped, the muscles in the intestine no longer know how to move and pass stool on their own.
How do I relieve constipation?
You’re usually able to treat constipation yourself with just a few simple changes to your lifestyle and diet - which you can also try if you’re pregnant.
Try increasing the amount of fibre in your diet and the amount of fluid you drink (avoid alcohol) as it may make your stool easier to pass.
By increasing the amount of exercise you do, it will improve how often you need to use the toilet.
If none of these changes work for your constipation, your doctor or pharmacist might recommend a laxative or an enema, which softens the stool to make it easier to pass.
What causes constipation?
Constipation can happen for lots of different reasons, it’s a very common condition that happens to almost everyone at one point or another in their lives.
Some of the most common causes of constipation include:
- Not enough fibre in your diet
- A change in your diet or lifestyle
- Some medications, for example, codeine
- Not being active enough or living a sedentary lifestyle
- Mental health conditions, e.g. stress, anxiety, depression