Why should I avoid straining during bowel movements?

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Anthony L. Komaroff, MD
Internal Medicine
Don't strain with bowel movements. Years of forcing can weaken a man's or a woman's pelvic floor muscles. Even when you have regular bowel movements, if your stools are frequently hard or take considerable effort to pass, you have constipation and could benefit from medical advice. In a study involving people ages 65 and older, treating constipation improved a variety of urinary symptoms, including frequency, urgency, and burning. Increasing the fiber in your diet and drinking adequate fluids can help prevent constipation.

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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.