If you constantly struggle with constipation, you might use laxatives, drink prune juice, or try other methods to soften up your bowels. But if nothing you do works, it's time to see a personal physician. Although constipation can happen to any woman, the problem shouldn't be something you struggle with on a daily basis. Chronic constipation may indicate problems with your digestive system. Here are things to know about constipation and how you can alleviate it safely.
Why Are You Really Constipated?
Constipation occurs when you have problems passing bowel movements. Most people pass about three bowel movements a week. Other people may go multiple times a day without issue. But with constipation, you struggle to pass those three bowel movements a week or might not even "go" at all.
Constipated bowel movements are usually hard and painful. The feces may be small and rock-like, or it may be large and solid. If you try to push the hard bowel movements out, you can strain and damage the delicate blood vessels in your rectum. This problem may potentially lead to hemorrhoids or bowel incontinence over time.
Hemorrhoids develop when the blood vessels in your rectum enlarge, bleed, and push out of the anus. Bowel incontinence develops when you can't contain your bowel movements at all. Both of these conditions can be discouraging and uncomfortable.
By making some changes in your life, you can overcome your constipation.
What Can You Do About Your Constipation?
One of the things you can do is drink plenty of water, since it can help soften your bowels. Sometimes constipation occurs when you don't drink enough water throughout the day. Your digestive system's large intestine requires water to help break down the food you eat into waste. If your large intestine doesn't have enough fluid inside it, the waste becomes hard and dry.
Women should drink about 9 cups of water a day. If you can't tolerate too much water, try clear liquids like white tea and apple juice. You can also eat watermelon and other watery fruit to stay hydrated.
You can also become constipated if you have a digestive problem called irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Irritable bowel syndrome affects your large intestine's ability to break down food waste and absorb water. The condition can cause a variety of issues, including constipation and cramping. If you have any of these symptoms, tell a personal doctor right away.
Women can also experience constipation if they have problems with their pelvic floor muscles and organs. For instance, if you recently experienced a difficult pregnancy or delivery, your uterus may have collapsed from the stress of childbirth. The weight of your uterus may prevent your bowels from passing normally. An ob-gyn can examine you to see if you have a prolapsed uterus.
If you have concerns about constipation, contact a physician for an appointment today.