Skip to Content

Symptom Checker

Step 4: Read and complete the decision guide to learn more about your symptoms.

Constipation in Adults

For pelvic emptying difficulties, enemas are also useful.

An enema is a fluid that is gently moved from a storage bag or container into your rectum through a plastic or rubber tube. Enema fluid temporarily expands the rectum, loosens and moistens stool at the end of the colon, and triggers muscular contraction of the rectum.

Enemas typically result in a bowel movement within minutes.

The safest enemas are those that contain salt solutions in balance with your blood salt concentrations, such as pre-filled sodium phosphate and bisphosphate enema kits (Fleets Enemas) that are available at pharmacies. Some enemas contain mineral oil or other oils to lubricate stool that is tightly lodged in the rectum. It is possible to ease rectal emptying with any enema fluid, even tap water, but frequent use of tap water enemas can dilute the concentration of salt in your bloodstream and is not recommended.

Continue to other treatments.

Disclaimer: This content should not be considered complete and should not be used in place of a call or visit to a health professional. Use of this content is subject to specific Terms of Use & Medical Disclaimers.

Hide