General Question

ubersiren's avatar

I'm desperately constipated... what can I do to poop?

Asked by ubersiren (15140points) July 30th, 2009

I’m early in my pregnancy and the anti-nausea medicine I was taking (Zofran) made me constipated. I’ve stopped taking it because I’d rather be nauseated than not poop for another 5 days. But I’m still not going. I’m taking fiber supplements and Colace and trying to eat as many fruits and veggies as possible and nothing is working. I think my poop machine is permanently broken. Are enemas safe for me? Is there anything else I can do? Please help. It’s too late tonight to call my midwife, and I’m on vacation and like an IDIOT I didn’t bring her emergency number with me. I’m not finding anything useful online.

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71 Answers

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

Taco Bell. You will poop.

teh_kvlt_liberal's avatar

Eat a lot of fiber

lloydbird's avatar

A really, really good ghost story.

Facade's avatar

Try eating prunes. They’re actually very tasty and work for me. Also, drink plenty of fluids and exercise a bit. DON’T take castor oil.

bhec10's avatar

@lloydbird Yeah, she needs something to literally scare the crap out of her.

Sorry, but I’m not familiar with constipations.

knitfroggy's avatar

My 6 year old son was stopped up a few weeks ago. The doctor gave him some Miralax the name of that stuff cracks me up! and it worked like a charm. I would tell you to eat some raisins. That works better than prunes for me.

Zendo's avatar

Try an enema.

casheroo's avatar

I’ll PM you!!

teh_kvlt_liberal's avatar

Oh yeah and laxatives can help

shilolo's avatar

Constipation like this borders on obstipation. At this point, all the fiber and colace in the world is not going to move your bowels. Imagine you are a clogged kitchen sink. You can keep forcing things from above, but only if you dislodge the obstruction from below will you clear things up. You now have several options, and I will suggest the one I think is best. Glycerine suppositories are safe during pregnancy, as are enemas, and I would recommend trying first the suppositories, and then an enema (or two). In the meantime, you have to stay very hydrated by drinking as much water as you can. One other thing you can add to the colace is senekot, or senna. As mentioned above, light exercise like walking will help as well. So, to sum up.
From below: Glycerine suppositories ± enemas
From above: Colace, Senna, lots and lots of water. Eventually, you might need to add another agent, like lactulose.
Otherwise: Exercise.

Edit: NO, NO, NO to the laxatives (and this includes prunes and other fruits). All they do is promote peristalsis (movement of your bowels), which will be painful given the degree of constipation you face.

Sarcasm's avatar

I’ve heard anal makes it easy to poop (or rather, hard to not poop). I don’t have any anecdotal evidence, though.

sandystrachan's avatar

Fig , prune juice apple juice works well same goes for grape juice .

Supacase's avatar

Apple juice.

I would try suppositories before an enema.

sandystrachan's avatar

Don’t try an enema , we were warned off doing that by her midwife .

augustlan's avatar

I’d try a suppository first, and asap.

DominicX's avatar


I was getting excited there for a sec.

Also, best question wording ever.

casheroo's avatar

Don’t do a glycerin enema you can get saline ones at a natural food mart, like Whole Foods. They are better for the body because they contain no laxatives, so the body will not become dependent on them.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

Try a circular belly massage and also a massage of your lower back where love handles would be.
also what Jeff said about Taco Bell, the burrito supremes are awfully effective

mrentropy's avatar

I knew a mathematician with that problem. He worked it out with a pencil.

You may want to go with a gentle laxative.

sandystrachan's avatar

Before using laxative consult your Dr or midwife , they are not good for the baby i don’t think, well some aren’t i know that much

jbfletcherfan's avatar

Besides Taco Bell, go to Long John Silvers, too.

filmfann's avatar

For me, Life Cereal cleans me out like a white tornado.

ubersiren's avatar

Ugh, I can’t even imagine eating fast food… I’d barf it right back out. I think I’ll take @shilolo‘s and @casheroo‘s advice. Thanks guys for taking me seriously. Also, @hungryhungryhortence, I’ve been trying that, too. The massage, I mean. I actually went to massage school and that’s the first thing I tried, to no avail. I’m going to the store for some suppositories right now. I’m beyond the shame.

@filmman: consequently, I’ve been eating that all week and it’s not working, but thanks for the suggestion.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@filmfann LOLLLLL….now that’s funny! :-)

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@ubersiren Good luck. Report back tomorrow. ’-)

shilolo's avatar

@ubersiren I do suggest talking with your midwife or doctor in any event, and if the constipation gets worse, or you have severe cramps, abdominal pain or fever, you seek medical assistance ASAP. This is what happened to the last Flutherite to complain of constipation.

seekingwolf's avatar

I’m so sorry that you’re constipated. I myself have been very constipated when I was a child and I once went almost 3 weeks without a BM. Freaking awful and very painful.

You should ask about an enema. They work a lot better than those little suppositories. Having some mineral oil also really helps me. You can buy it at your local drugstore and mix a little chocolate syrup in it to give it taste.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

Copious amounts of alcohol. (Not really.. I just wanted to say copious… )

jonsblond's avatar

I never thought I’d say this about you @ubersiren, but you’re full of shit!

Hope you feel better soon!

filmfann's avatar

I am wondering if people at work are commenting on how you’re starting to show so soon…

jca's avatar

if you have a partner have them give you an enema and make it a sensual experience.

JLeslie's avatar

Raisins are the miracle dried fruit in my opinion and drink water with them. I say be careful about “fiber” crunchy raw veggies can make things worse, things like raw carrots are tough on my system and I think actually block things up for me. But, things like veggie soup and other cooked veggies and wheatina cereal always helps me, but it is summer so you might dread a hot cereal.

There are meds like ducolax, but you should check with your doctor.

Judi's avatar

Hot water on an empty stomach, then lots and lots of water. Before I realized you were pregnant I was going to say castor oil.

dannyc's avatar

Romaine lettuce, plain, with a nice oil and a ton of it..sure to work,

AstroChuck's avatar

Drink a bottle of olive oil. I prefer extra virgin.
(made from real ugly olives)

augustlan's avatar

This is going to sound weird, but please keep us posted, ok?

rowenaz's avatar

walk. I just had surgery, and the percocet is doing me in. I walk around my living room and drink LOTS and LOTS of water.

sakura's avatar

When I was little my mum and dad used to give me warm orange juice when I was constipated it worked than and it works now.

Also have you got piles too? Hemeroid cream works as a laxitive and lubricant to help!

mrentropy's avatar

Castor oil is good for this, isn’t it? Not Castrol, castor.

Judi's avatar

Castor oil is what I took to go into labor so it probably isn’t good for pregnancy.

mrentropy's avatar

When I looked up castor oil, I found a bit on (hurray, I did research) that said it was questionable in use for encouraging labor because of the severe diarrhea it causes.

Judi's avatar

But it Does work to induce labor. It did for me and my daughter. Although it WAS messy.

mrentropy's avatar

Two birds with one stone, then. I remember I took castor oil once, when I was a kid. It didn’t induce labor in me, but I’m pretty sure the severe diarrhea happened.

MagsRags's avatar

Shilolo gave you great advice. I’d start with the glycerin suppository, and if it doesn’t work, a fleets enema – it’s a fairly small amount of fluid, and usually works well. Your GI system will not become dependent from using a supository or enema once in awhile. The problem comes when folks get in the habit of using it chronically.

If all else fails, call your midwife. Years ago, I had a pregnant client who waited until it was so bad that even the fleets didn’t move anything. She was so impacted that I had to bring her in to the office and do a digital extraction followed by a fleets. Painful and embarassing but we were out of better options at that point.

mass_pike4's avatar

get more fiber in your diet. Try to get 25–40 grams a day. You can get enough fiber from foods like whole grain pastas, breads, and cereals…fruits and vegetables. Drink a caffeinated drink, that clears out my system when I need to go. Adding nicotine and caffeine does it too, although not healthy, itll make ya poop. Drink a lot of fluids as well. Water works wonders. Drinking about a gallon a day is actually very good, esp if you are active

ubersiren's avatar

So, I tried suppositories and I think I did it wrong because it kind of leaked out. I fell asleep and did an enema this morning which worked somewhat. It was the most painful poop ever, but at least I experienced some relief. I’m still having problems but am going to call my midwife. Thanks for all the suggestions and caring. I love all my fellow flutherites!

shilolo's avatar

@ubersiren Leaking out is OK. Some people believe that the act of digitally stimulating the rectum while inserting the suppository is sufficient, though I don’t buy that. Enemas are the best, and as I said above, you might need to repeat multiple times before you feel better. Saline or warm water enemas are very safe (as they are simply salt water, or water alone) and can be repeated as often as you need. Once you get over the mental barrier, you’ll realize it is an acceptable solution. Once you solve the immediate problem, you’ll have to focus on prevention, which will entail all the things mentioned above, with a huge focus of drinking a ton of water.

casheroo's avatar

@ubersiren Oh sweetie, I feel so bad for you. Did you ever read Jenny McCarthy’s pregnancy book? She talks about not pooping for 14 days when she was pregnant! Pregnancy makes going to the bathroom such an event.
I hope the saline enemas help. Also, the fiber which will work soon enough, and continue to work if you keep taking it.

Darwin's avatar

@MagsRags – Digital extraction, huh? So that’s what it’s called. When I said “In sickness and in health” I didn’t know it would involve rubber gloves. And now that it has, it’s nice to know what the process is called.

And yes, that plus fleet’s will do the trick, but it is no fun for either person involved. At least, not in my experience.

@ubersiren – I hope everything comes out all right in the end. That’s what I always say to my husband when he has this problem, and it generally does eventually.

ubersiren's avatar

@shilolo : Thank you so much for ‘checking up’ on this thread. No doctor pun intended. It’s very comforting.

@casheroo : Oh yeah, I did read that, but it’s been more than two years and I forgot about that! I’ll have to go back and read it again.

ubersiren's avatar

@loveurmindnsoul : Thanks, dear, but that’s the fiber supplement I’m taking, actually. :(

knitfroggy's avatar

Were you ever able to poop any more @ubersiren ? Sheesh that sounds like such a personal question, but I’m curious, I know how bad it can be!

ubersiren's avatar

YES! I’m back to a fully functional colon. Thank the load. Thanks all.

knitfroggy's avatar

Yea for pooping!!!

Judi's avatar

Glad everything came out alright.

mrentropy's avatar

It all works out in the end.

augustlan's avatar

That must be a load off your mind.

Zen's avatar

An assortment of dried fruit, and a big bowl of bran cereal. If that doesn’t work, consult a Doctor.

pinkgirl02's avatar

anything with caramel in always works.

josie's avatar

White Castle. Fleets Phospho Soda.

mamagee's avatar

If you don’t want to use a suppository or enema for instant relief then go to the Asian market and buy “Dieter’s tea” Make it and only drink a few sips. You should go within 10–20 minutes….seriously!

MaryW's avatar

Total Bran flakes two bowls in one morning. Plus a couple of glasses of water. Do not leave the house !

flutherother's avatar

I would make sure you have a bowl of porridge oats every morning without fail. Oats contain lots of fibre.

GeorgeGee's avatar

Since you’re pregnant, you should not take any medications or have an enema without checking with your doctor. Having lots of fluids though, including prune juice, doesn’t require a doctor’s advice.
Note that some of the advice people have given here like eating lots of fiber can be counter productive. Some pregnant women eat lots of “Fiber One” type cereal and end up with the equivalent of a bird’s nest in their bowels. Obviously that’s not the desired result.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
barney22's avatar

Prune juice usually works but i often end up having to take a laxative, I’m always having problems because i’m on pain meds

janbb's avatar

Well, if she hasn’t pooped by now, she has big, big problems!

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