6 Causes of difficult bowel movements

Anthony Young

The cause of constipation is often difficult to know for sure. However, in general there are several factors that can cause constipation or difficult bowel movements, such as poor diet, pregnancy, delayed bowel movements, the influence of drugs, or because of certain health conditions.

Difficulty to defecate, in medical language called constipation, occurs when the frequency of defecation is reduced. Actually the frequency of bowel movements can vary by person. There is no standard benchmark on how many times the normal bowel movements in a day or week. Some people defecate 1-2 times a week. Others defecate three times a day. However, usually not defecating for three days or more can be said for too long. This is because after three days, the stool structure becomes harder and harder to remove.

Then what are the conditions that are generally the cause of constipation?

Delaying bowel movements

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Often children and adults have a reluctance to go to the toilet to defecate, either for fear, embarrassment, lack of privacy to use the toilet, or any other reason. However, procrastinating to defecate when there is an urge to do so, is at risk of inviting constipation. In other words, be quick to answer the call of nature.

Influence of Drugs

Consumption of certain drugs can also cause side effects such as difficult bowel movements. They may include calcium supplements, iron supplements, antiepileptic drugs, antidepressants, antipsychotics, diuretic medications, and pain medications that may be addictive such as codeine and morphine. In addition, medications to treat digestive disorders, such as aluminum antacids, can cause constipation as well.

Poor Diet

Lack of fiber of fruits, vegetables, and cereals, and lack of fluids can trigger constipation. In addition, dietary changes and eating too much milk products can also cause difficult bowel movements. In addition, eating disorders also contribute to the occurrence of constipation. People who have unhealthy weight, such as too thin or too fat, can also invite constipation.


Approximately 40 percent of pregnant women experience constipation during pregnancy, especially in the early period of pregnancy. Constipation can be experienced by pregnant women because during pregnancy, the body produces more progesterone hormones whose effect can relax the muscles making it difficult for the intestinal muscles to contract. As a result, pregnant women find it difficult to defecate.

Having Specific Health Conditions

In rare cases, difficulty with bowel movements may be a sign of certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, hypercalcemia or excess calcium in the blood, underactive thyroid gland, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, anal fissures, disease intestinal inflammation, colon or rectal cancer, or spinal cord injury.

Psychological Factors

Difficulty defecating can occur in those who have psychic problems, such as stress, anxiety, depression, violent trauma, or sexual abuse.

How to Handle Difficulty Stomach

The cause of constipation can vary with each person. So too about the handling steps will depend on the cause and how severe your condition. However, in general constipation can be dealt with by changing lifestyles, as follows.

  • Enough water needs to prevent dehydration.
  • Expand fiber consumption, at least 18-30 grams per day. Fiber can be obtained from fruits, vegetables, or cereals.
  • You can take painkillers, such as paracetamol or aspirin when constipation has caused pain or discomfort. However, children under 16 years of age are not encouraged to take aspirin.
  • Do not delay to defecate when feeling needy and urgent to do so.
  • If constipation occurs in children, give fruit to facilitate defecation, such as strawberries, apples, grapes, pears, or raisins. These fruits can also be given to adults.
  • When defecating in the toilet seat, position the legs on the low bench so that the knees are above the waist. This position makes the dirt easier out.
  • Do more sports. As simple as walking or running light is enough, as long as it is done routinely.
  • Apply a routine defecation to the toilet, for example when and in which toilet you are comfortable to defecate. Implementing this routine also needs to be done for your child. Help the child to get used to this activity and give praise or appreciation when the child has done it.


If by changing your lifestyle has not worked, your doctor may prescribe laxatives for you. For pregnant women who have constipation, consult your doctor before taking any medication.

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  • Is a health and wellness enthusiast. In him free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.
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