How to poo like a pro
by pelvic floor physio, Tus Jierasak
Did you know there is a correct (and life changing) way to open your bowels? SPOILER ALERT: The following post talks candidly about all things poos and rear ends!
First things first, always have a look at your stools. They should be a Type 3-4 on the Bristol Stool Chart. Type 4 is ideal – smooth and soft like a sausage, with minimal cracks. This will make them soft and ideal to pass. If they are too hard (Type 1 or 2), this may cause us to strain or push, and if they are too loose (Type 6 or 7), then can make us worry about leaking.
Next, it’s good to have a brief idea about the anatomy of your rectum. Your colon stores waste, and it’s anatomy continues and turns into the rectum and anal canal, where stools are released from. The junction where the rectum and anal canal meet forms an angle called the anorectal angle. Around this angle, your pelvic floor muscles run like a sling.
Now think of your rectum and anal canal like a hose. The more the hose is kinked (due the sling of the pelvic floor muscle in image 1) , the harder it will be to pass a stool, and the straighter it is ( image 2), the easier it will be. So when we sit to pass a stool, we want to relax this angle as much as possible (and yes, mimic a squatting position as we see in image 3!)
Try these top 7 tips on how to correctly empty your bowels!
- Place a little stool under the feet so your knees are higher, and wider than your hips (individually wrapped toilet rolls are good here too instead of a stool).
- Lean forward and stick your bottom out slightly.
- Nice straight back (don’t hunch!).
- Brace your forearms on your thighs.
- Bulge your belly, as if you have swallowed a beach ball and you should feel a widening around the anus.
- Definitely no straining, or this will just tighten the anorectal angle and make it harder to pass a stool!
- If nothing happens in 5 minutes, go away and come back again when you are ready.
Remember to use this position every single time you pass a bowel motion, and you will be pooing like a pro.
Are you still finding bowel motions painful, difficult or a stress on your pelvic floor and back?
If you experience any other bowel problems such as constipation, straining, hemorrhoids, or just want to know more about good bowel health, contact us to come and chat with one of our pelvic floor physiotherapists, who love everything bowel related.