Advertisement

What information should I share with my doctor about my constipation?

If you're experiencing constipation, tell your doctor about any associated symptoms, like pain or vomiting.

While constipation isn't easy to talk about, the one person who wants to hear all the details of your constipation symptoms is your doctor.

If you suffer from constipation symptoms, consider making an appointment to have a heart-to-heart about your bowel movements. Providing details about your bowel habits can help your healthcare provider manage your symptoms and possibly rule out potentially serious problems.

Frequency of bowel movements is a good starting point when discussing constipation with your doctor. The typical bowel movement (BM) schedule may vary from three times per day to three times per week, depending on the person. Many people experience occasional irregularity, but constipation is generally defined as having fewer than three bowel movements per week, having difficulty while passing a bowel movement or both.

Other signs of constipation may include straining, hard or lumpy stools or incomplete BMs. Some people with constipation also report feeling bloated or feeling abdominal discomfort. These are all important to mention to your healthcare provider. The consistency, color and shape of BMs also tell a revealing story about what's going on in your body, as does how long you have been having symptoms, which treatments you have tried, whether or not they had an impact and whether or not your symptoms keep coming back.

Remember that constipation is a common condition, especially among women.

Continue Learning about Constipation

What are the Long-Term Effects of Chronic Constipation?
What are the Long-Term Effects of Chronic Constipation?
In general constipation usually does not cause any long-term health problems, but that doesn't mean it can't. In this video, Dr. Oz discusses the poss...
Read More
How should I prepare for my appointment to diagnose acute constipation?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
If you have scheduled a doctor's appointment to be tested for acute constipation, there are some thi...
More Answers
Does constipation affect women differently than men?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
Constipation affects nearly everyone at some point, and the symptoms are the same for men and women....
More Answers
When It's Smart to Serve Fruit Juice to a Child
When It's Smart to Serve Fruit Juice to a Child

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.