Why are many unable to defecate and urinate simultaneously?

Why are many unable to defecate and urinate simultaneously?

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Many people (including myself) do not defecate and urinate simultaneously, but rather in succession. Only after one is completed, the other commences. I have noticed this in myself, but the internet suggests this is neither unique nor universal: for example, see quora, reddit, grasscity. I don't seem to find any references explaining why people would be unable to do both at the same time.

It Isn't Weird If You Get an Erection When You Poop

Ask the Poop Doctor is a new column from Dr. Sameer Islam, MD, a Texas-based gastroenterologist who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. He also hosts segments such as Poop Tip Thursday and Let's Talk About Poop on his YouTube channel. Have a question you'd like to submit? Leave it in the comments section below!

TikTok isn&rsquot exactly known to be a medical encyclopedia, but it can surface some interesting biological issues sometimes. Like the idea that guys get boners when they poop. In this case, it&rsquos a real thing. And it&rsquos nothing to feel weird about if it happens to you.

&ldquoYes, it can definitely happen, and it&rsquos something that more and more patients have been asking me about since seeing the TikTok meme,&rdquo says Dr. Islam. So we had to know more about exactly why it might happen, who it might happen to, and just how common it is in real life. Here are his answers.

Why Can’t We Poop Without Peeing? Here’s The Answer To What Everyone’s Thought Of But Never Asked

I think we can all agree, first of all, that a satisfying dump really is one of the purest joys in the world. And while deep in thought, appreciating the natural marvel that is pooping, we wondered just why pretty much every poop you've ever created in life is always accompanied with some urine.

Turns out there's a legit reason why you can easily pee without shit betraying you, but not the other way around. Go on, try taking a shit without letting some pee slip out. That shit ain't possible, fam. Literally.

Source: Nomageddon

The logic behind urine tagging along with stool is pretty simple. There are many muscles, voluntary and involuntary, that control the passing of our bodily wastes. Both the urethra and the anus have internal and external sphincters to moderate this passing.

The internal sphincters for both these parts of the body operate involuntarily - relaxing as and when the pressure builds up. It is the external sphincter that is an entirely voluntary muscle that one can relax at will. So you can tighten them and hold in your pee or poop, only releasing bodily wastes when and where you choose to. Well, most of the times.

The external muscle that we relax when peeing, however, is a lot smaller and easier to isolate than the muscle relaxed when pooping. So when you decide to take a leak, you're able to do so without the general musculature of the pelvic floor relaxing.

When pooping, however, apart from allowing solid waste to pass, the relaxation of the considerably stronger anal sphincter also decreases tension in the weaker urinary sphincter, allowing urine to pass simultaneously. Causing some pretty glorious relief, no doubt.

In a nutshell, it's a fight between the shit and piss muscles and shit trumps piss every day of the week, and twice on Sunday.

Everything you need to know about tenesmus

Rectal tenesmus, or tenesmus, is a feeling of being unable to empty the large bowel of stool, even if there is nothing left to expel.

Several medical conditions can cause tenesmus. These include inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), colorectal cancer, and disorders that affect how muscles move food through the gut.

It can be painful, especially if there is cramping or other digestive symptoms. The symptoms can come and go, or they may persist long term.

Vesical tenesmus is a separate condition that relates to the urinary bladder. A person will feel as if they are unable to empty the bladder, even when there is no urine present.

Share on Pinterest A person with tenesmus may feel as though they are unable to empty their bowels fully.

Rectal tenesmus can happen for several reasons. The most common is colon inflammation, either from a noninfectious or infectious cause.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is one cause of colon inflammation. IBD is an umbrella term for several long term conditions involving chronic inflammation of the gut. Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease are common forms of IBD.

Experts do not know what causes IBD, but several factors may play a role. One theory is that the immune system mistakenly attacks the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. There may also be a genetic component.

IBD can lead to inflammation and ulceration of the GI tract, which can lead to narrowing or blocking of the gut and perforation or scarring of the bowel wall. These changes make it more difficult to pass stool and contribute to the development of tenesmus.

Other conditions associated with tenesmus include:

  • colon infection, which can be caused by organisms, such as a bacteria or virus
  • ischemic colitis, an inflammation of the colon due to decreased blood flow to that area , caused by inflammation of bulges in the wall of the colon
  • inflammation of the colon due to radiation
  • the abnormal movement of food or waste in the digestive tract (IBS)
  • a prolapsed hemorrhoid
  • a rectal abscess
  • rectal gonorrhea

Tenesmus can also be a symptom of constipation or diarrhea. Various factors can cause these, including dietary choices.

What causes rectal pressure? Click here to find out.

If a person has tenesmus, the doctor will carry out a medical assessment and physical examination to try to find the cause.

The doctor will ask the individual about their personal and family medical history.

  • symptoms, such as duration, frequency, severity, and onset
  • bowel habits
  • diet and lifestyle
  • other health problems

The doctor will also carry out an abdominal and rectal examination.

  • blood tests
  • a stool culture
  • an X-ray or CT scan of the abdominopelvic area
  • a colonoscopy, which will show details of the inside of the colon
  • sigmoidoscopy, to examine the last sections of the colon
  • screening for sexually transmitted diseases

A person should see a doctor when it is difficult or painful to pass stool, especially if the symptoms last more than a few days or are recurrent.

People should also see their doctor as soon as possible if they have:

  • blood in the stool
  • chills and a fever
  • nausea and vomiting
  • abdominal pain

Treatment depends on the severity of the tenesmus and its underlying cause.

Inflammatory bowel disease

Treatment for IBD aims to relieve discomfort, achieve and maintain remission of symptoms, and prevent complications. Medications and surgery are the most common options.

Drugs for relieving the symptoms of IBD, including tenesmus, include:

Anti-inflammatory drugs: Oral or rectal medications can reduce inflammation and help achieve or maintain remission.

Immune system suppressors: These can inhibit the immune system response that causes inflammation.

Corticosteroid therapy: Fast acting systemic steroids can help manage IBD flares by reducing inflammation.

TNF blockers: Another type of immunosuppressant, such as a monoclonal antibody, can target substances in the body that lead to inflammation.

Antibiotics: These can help defeat bacteria that may be causing symptoms or making them worse.

Laxatives: These can help if tenesmus results from constipation.

Pain relief: A person can take pain relief medication alongside other therapies.

In some cases, a doctor may recommend surgery to relieve symptoms after medications failed to do so.

Learn more here about surgery for ulcerative colitis, a type of IBD.

Motility disorders

Any condition that causes the movement of food or waste through the digestive tract to speed up or slow down is an intestinal motility disorder. A person with a motility disorder may have diarrhea or constipation.

Diarrhea: If tenesmus results from infectious diarrhea, a doctor may prescribe antibiotics or anti-parasitics, depending on the underlying cause.

If diarrhea results from certain foods or medications, they may recommend avoiding the trigger item. Examples of ingredients that can trigger diarrhea in some people include lactose, sucrose, and caffeine.

Antidiarrheal agents, such as Loperamide (Imodium), can help relieve symptoms.

Laxatives: If tenesmus results from constipation, a laxative may help the stool pass through the colon more easily.

If constipation causes stool to become impacted, a blockage may result. The doctor may remove the stool manually or flush it out with a rectal laxative enema or water irrigation.

Dietary changes can help with both constipation and diarrhea.

Get some tips on treating constipation at home.

Colorectal cancer

Tenesmus can be a sign of a blockage due to a cancerous tumor.

The doctor may recommend a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy, depending on the stage of the cancer and the person’s overall health. Removing the tumor will often relieve tenesmus.

Sometimes, after surgery, waste will not be able to pass through the large intestine. When this occurs, a person will need to have a colostomy. Find out more about what this involves here.

It is not always possible to cure colorectal cancer. Palliative care can help a person feel more comfortable while living with cancer.

Options for improving a person’s comfort and quality of life with cancer-related tenesmus include:

These will not cure cancer, but they can help relieve symptoms.

Other causes

Tenesmus that results from a sexually transmitted infection should resolve when the person receives treatment for the infection.

10 Early Signs and Symptoms of Labor

While there are characteristic changes in the body with impending labor, every woman's experience is unique and different. "Normal" can vary from woman to woman. The signs and symptoms of normal labor can begin three weeks prior to the anticipated due date up until two weeks afterward, and there is no precise way to predict exactly when a woman will go into labor. This article describes the 10 most common signs and symptoms that labor is approaching.

1. The baby drops

Medically known as "lightening," this is when the baby "drops." The baby's head descends deeper into the pelvis. For some women, this occurs up to 2 weeks prior to the beginning of labor other women may not notice this event at all.

2. An increased urge to urinate

An increased urge to urinate can be a result of the baby's head dropping into the pelvis. The low position of the baby's head puts even more pressure on the urinary bladder, so many women approaching labor might feel a frequent need to urinate. As the baby drops, breathing can become easier since there is less pressure on the diaphragm from underneath.

3. The mucus plug passes

Passage of the mucus plug is a known sign that labor is near. Thick mucus produced by the cervical glands normally keeps the cervical opening closed during pregnancy. This mucus plug must be expelled before delivery. Pressure from the baby's head causes the mucus plug to be expressed from the vagina, sometimes as blood-tinged vaginal discharge (referred to as "bloody show"). For some women, the mucus plug is not expelled until after labor begins others may notice the mucus discharge in the days prior to the onset of labor.

The Pros and Cons of 7 Childbirth Delivery Methods

Check out the pros and cons of these different delivery methods to help you decide which one might be best for you:

What you need to know about bowel incontinence

A person with bowel, or fecal, incontinence, cannot control their bowel movements. The stools, or feces, leak from the rectum, because of some underlying condition.

Bowel incontinence can vary in severity from passing a small amount of feces when breaking wind to total loss of bowel control. It is not life-threatening or hazardous, but it can affect the person’s quality of life, emotional and mental health, and self-esteem.

Fecal incontinence is a common condition, affecting around 18 million people, or 1 in 12 adults, in the United States.

It is slightly more common among women, possibly as a complication of pregnancy.

Many people do not report bowel incontinence due to embarrassment and a mistaken belief that it cannot be treated. Many believe it is an unavoidable part of the aging process.

In some cases, bowel incontinence resolves on its own, but it usually requires treatment.

Share on Pinterest Surgery may be needed, depending on the cause.

Treatments for bowel incontinence aim to help restore bowel control or reduce its severity.

Options include medications, dietary changes, bowel training, stool impaction therapy. If these do not work, surgery may be recommended.

If an underlying condition is detected, this will need appropriate treatment.


  • anti-diarrheal medications, such as loperamide, or Imodium
  • laxatives, such as milk of magnesia, may be used in the short term, if the problem stems from chronic constipation
  • medications that decrease bowel motility, or decrease water content in the stool

Dietary changes

A change of diet can sometimes relieve bowel incontinence. A food diary can help monitor the impact of different foods.

Drinking more fluid and eating more fiber-rich food can help reduce bowel incontinence due to constipation. High-fiber foods that add bulk to the stools may also help people with chronic diarrhea.

Bowel training

Patients with poor sphincter control or low awareness of the urge to defecate may find a bowel training program effective.

  • exercises to help restore the strength of vital muscles for bowel control
  • learning to use the bathroom at certain times of the day, such as after a meal

Pelvic floor muscle training, or Kegel exercises, can help strengthen muscles that have been weakened or stretched during labor. Women are advised to do the exercises several times a day during pregnancy and for about 2 months after childbirth.


This is another type of bowel training.

A pressure-sensitive probe is inserted into the anus. Each time the muscles of the anal sphincter contract around the probe, the device senses it. This can give the patient an idea of the patterns of their muscle activity.

By practicing muscle contractions and viewing their strength and response on a screen, the patient can learn to strengthen those muscles.

Other intervention

Stool impaction treatment may be needed to remove an impacted stool, if other treatment is not effective. The surgeon uses two gloved fingers to break the stool into small pieces, making it easier to expel.

If the problem is caused by fecal impaction, and other treatments are ineffective, an enema may help. A small tube is placed into the anus, and a special solution is inserted to wash out the rectum.

In sacral nerve stimulation, four to six small needles are inserted into the muscles of the lower bowel. The muscles are stimulated by an external pulse generator that emits electrical pulses.

Patients who respond well to this treatment may have permanent pulse generator, similar to a pacemaker, implanted under the skin of the buttock. The sacral nerve runs from the spinal cord to muscles in the pelvis and is involved in bowel and urinary continence.


Surgery is normally only used if other treatments have not worked or to treat an underlying condition.

Sphincteroplasty is surgery to repair a damaged or weakened anal sphincter. The surgeon removes damaged muscle, overlaps the muscle edges and sews them back together. This provides extra support to the muscles and tightens the sphincter.

Stimulated graciloplasty, or gracilis muscle transplant, uses a small amount of muscle from the patient’s thigh to create an artificial sphincter. Electrodes attached to a pulse generator are inserted into the artificial sphincter, and impulses gradually change the way the muscles work.

Sphincter replacement uses an inflatable cuff to replace damaged anal sphincter. The cuff is implanted around the anal canal. When inflated, the cuff keeps the anal sphincter firmly shut until the person is ready to defecate. A small external pump deflates the device, allowing the stool to be released. The device then reinflates automatically about 10 minutes later.

Surgery for a prolapsed rectum may be done if other treatments have not worked. The sphincter muscle may be repaired at the same time.

A rectocele may be corrected by surgery, if it leads to significant symptoms of fecal incontinence.

Prolapsed internal hemorrhoids may prevent the anal sphincter from closing properly, resulting in bowel incontinence. Hemorrhoidectomy is a surgical procedure to remove them.

A colostomy can be used as a last resort. The stools are diverted through a hole in the colon and through the wall of the abdomen. A special bag is attached to the opening to collect the stool.

Pressure in rectum along with constant urge to urinate

It is good that you just had a full check-up. That helps rule out a lot. You are right in assuming that if it is anything serious, it could be your prostate. However, that is seriously jumping the gun. You could have just gotten a bladder infection. Either way, you need to be seen by a doc, preferably a Urologist.

Start right now by drinking Cranberry Juice (Not Cranberry Cocktail w/sugar). Make sure it is pure Cranberry Juice with no sugar, dextrose, sucrose, fructose, corn syrup or any sweetener added. That will help with a bladder infection. You can even go to a Health Food store and get Cranberry Capsules, that will work even faster. If a bladder infection is not the problem, the cranberry will not hurt you.

darerack52457 over a year ago

Guest over a year ago

Guest over a year ago

I am a 24 year old male and am having the same problems, i did notice that reducing my intake ogo Chocolate and drinking Pure Cranberry Juice and between 3-4 glasses of water helped. But funnily enough my GP tells me it might just be in my head.

Apparently if you feel un-easy. Your body has a natural process of telling you to fight or flight. Seeing as most people don't want to fight. They opt for the flight option. Here comes the funny part, your body then starts to create adrenaline, which in turn create more urine and as you body knows that the lighter you are the faster you will move. Its wants you to urinate.

Stangely i sort of get the above, because at home i am fine, but once i am getting ready to go to work. All havoc breaks loss. But having said that my problem has only been active for about 8 months on/off. I have been at my currently work place for about a year.

Guest over a year ago

Guest over a year ago

This is to reply to the last message posted on 01/22/09 (01:19) by guest and subject: problems urinating

I am a 41 yrs old male. I got the exact same symptoms when I was about 22-23 yrs. It first started with an a weak flow when urinating and a feeling of not completely emptying the bladder. A couple of years later, the symptoms developed into an strong urge to urinate and a pressure on my rectum. There were times that I though one of the two (my bladder or my rectum) would give in.

I had problems to concentrate at work as I had to constantly visit the toilet, often without any result/success. I could not urinate if I didn't not empty my rectum first. Often I had experienced a sharp burning kind of instant pain when ejaculating.

All those symptoms led me to think that there was something wrong with my prostate. But from what I had know this is something that happens to men over 40 yrs old and more so over 50yrs old. Besides many urologists I had visited had found nothing wrong with my prostate. At some point I visited an GP who re-directed me to a lab where after I was tested negative for various sexual transmitted d's (STD) I was asked to provide sample of the first fluid of the day coming from my bladder. That examination revealed some kind of bacteria on my intestine ( I can not recall the term now but I will look into it). I had to take the Augmentin antibiotic in liquid form (powder or large pill diluted into a glass of water) twice a day for 15 days). After that my life came back to normal. Apparently it was those bacterias that were causing disturbance and, in turn, pressure to the bladder.

My whole ordear had lasted about 2-3 yrs. Since then I haven't had any such symptoms. However my urine still comes with a weak flow and there are times that I get burning sensation on my prostate especially when sitting many hours at work (my office job does not help). During a recent case of urine infection infection few years ago it was found that there is a very resistant bacteria in my prostate which probably the reason for my weak urine flow rather than the past issues. I tried to get rid of this bacteria with a very strong antibiotic but it had some side effects so I had to stop taking it and as per my doctor's advice I will keep it this way unless it gets aggressive again.

The bottom line is that since more than 14 years now I am free of the symptoms you described. I also think that my weak urine flow is not related to the urge to urinate and the rectum pressure.

Closing I would recommend that you follow my steps visit a lab and ask for a full exams on urine/semen/blood sample. You should also perhaps think STD (especially Chlamydia) as a possible cause of those symptoms as it - rarely so - affects the bladder and the colon/rectum area. But again the existence of such STD will appear on the lab test.

Hope all the above, will help you.

Guest over a year ago

KK, PLEASE let me know what that bacteria is called, and how it was found.

My symptoms started with a "prostate" infection, i was 28. I was put on lavaguin for 90 days. with very small relief from symptoms. I was later (2) years diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. I have to urinate every 10 miniutes to 1 hour if i am awake. I have to urinate every 1 1/2 to 3 hours while trying to sleep. I usually have a very constant feeling of a full colon. I also feel i almost constantly have to urinate. I can feel like i will throw up if I dont empty the 3 drops of urine in my bladder. My symptoms have been strong for over 9 years now (the whole time working a full time swing shift job). recently I started wearing very loose clothing using suspenders, so there will be no pressure whats so ever on my belly. It has helped somewhat. I also have recently (in the last year) noticed I have very strong and urgent (false) feelings that I need to urinate, but acually I really need to defacate. I will actually run to the urinal and try and pee, but cant. then I am aware I need to sit down quick, because the urgent urination feeling is completely gone and replaced by a very sudden need for a BW.
I had a bladder study done. They found my bladder only holds 1/3 what it should (probly from 9+ years of peeing 30+ times a day). My doc feels my nerves arnt working correctly. She has recomended me for a interstim. This is something like a pacemaker for your bladder. For those who dont know what this is, google it. I have a weak stomach and i hate to have this done, But they claim it will work. I am now 37 and I dont suffer like I used too, But only because I have adapted so much to this curse. I have a 13 minute car ride home from work, and I carry a "pee jug" in case i cant make it home in time. I use it often. I have even peed myself on purpose when I have been unable to get to a restroom, knowing I only every go a very small amount anyway. I could go on.

What is a defecation reflex?

The defecation reflex is an involuntary response of the lower bowels to various stimuli thereby promoting or even inhibiting a bowel movement. These reflexes are under the control of the autonomic system and play an integral role in the defecation process along with the somatic system that is responsible for voluntary control of defecation. The two main defecation reflexes are known as the intrinsic myenteric defecation reflex and parasympathetic defecation reflex.

Intrinsic Myenteric Defecation Reflex

The entry of feces into the rectum causes the distention of the rectal wall. This stretching triggers signals to the descending and sigmoid colon via the myenteric plexus to increase peristalsis. The myenteric plexus is part of the enteric nervous system which is the gut’s own internal neural network as discussed under stomach nerves.

The peristaltic waves extend all the way to the rectum an anus. In this manner, fecal matter is moved closer to the anus. When the wave reaches the anus, it causes the internal anal sphincter, which is always constricted, to relax. This is achieved by inhibitory signals via the myenteric plexus to reduce sphincter constriction.

Defecation may occur at this point if the external anal sphincter also relaxes. However, without the parasympathetic defecation reflex, defecation solely dependent on the intrinsic reflex would be weak.

Parasympathetic Defecation Reflex

The parasympathetic defecation reflex works in essentially the same way as the intrinsic myenteric defecation reflex but involves parasympathetic nerve fibers in the pelvic nerves. It triggers peristaltic waves in the descending and sigmoid colon as well as the rectum. It also causes relaxation of the external anal sphincter. The difference is that the parasympathetic defecation reflex enhances this process and makes the intrinsic reflex much more powerful. If sufficiently stimulated, it may even cause the sigmoid colon to completely empty all of its contents in the rectum rapidly.

The force triggered by the parasympathetic defecation reflex can be powerful enough to result in defecation, despite conscious efforts to keep the external anal sphincter constricted.

Other Defecation Reflexes

Apart from the two main defecation reflexes mentioned above, other reflexes can also influence the defecation process.

  • Gastrocolic reflex – distention of the stomach while eating or immediately after a meal triggers mass movements in the colon.
  • Gastroileal reflex – distention of the stomach while eating or immediately after eating triggers the relaxation of the ileocecal sphincter and speeds up peristalsis in the ileum (end portion of the small intestine). This causes the contents of the ileum to rapidly empty into the colon.
  • Enterogastric reflex – distention and/or acidic chyme in the duodenum slows stomach emptying and reduces peristalsis.
  • Duodenocolic reflex – distention of the duodenum a short while after eating triggers mass movements in the colon.

Irritation within the stomach or duodenum can stimulate or even inhibit the defecation reflexes. In addition to these gastrointestinal reflexes, there are other reflexes involving the peritoneum, kidney and bladder that can affect the defecation process. This includes the :

  • Peritoneointestinal reflex involving the peritoneum and intestines.
  • Renointestinal reflex involving the kidney and intestines.
  • Vesicointestinal reflex involving the bladder and intestines.

When these organs are irritated and the reflexes are triggered, it inhibits intestinal activity.



The National Institutes of Health (NIH) defines constipation as having fewer than three bowel movements per seven days. According to the NIH about four million Americans suffer from constipation. Are you one of these people? Do you know someone who is?

One of the biggest obstacles to your success may be not realizing you’re constipated in the first place. The bowel is the body’s main elimination organ, yet amongst many Americans today, this central elimination system is compromised, as evidenced by high rates of constipation. The National Institutes of Health estimates that 4-10 million Americans have chronic constipation (defined as having a bowel movement less than three times per week), and as many as 63 million people are suffering at any time from occasional constipation.

Squatty Potty® toilet stools create healthy toilet posture to relieve and prevent constipation in the following ways:

  • In the squatting position, gravity does most of the work. The weight of the torso presses against the thighs and naturally compresses the colon. Gentle pressure from the diaphragm supplements the force of gravity.
  • Squatting relaxes the puborectalis muscle, allowing the anorectal angle to straighten and the bowel to empty completely.
  • Squatting lifts the sigmoid colon to unlock the “kink” at the entrance to the rectum. This kink also helps prevent incontinence, by taking some of the pressure off the puborectalis muscle.
  • The colon is equipped with an inlet valve (the ileocecal valve) and an outlet valve (the puborectalis muscle). Squatting simultaneously closes the inlet valve, to keep the small intestine clean, and opens the outlet valve, to allow wastes to pass freely. The sitting position defeats the purpose of both valves, making elimination difficult and incomplete, and soiling the small intestine.


Hemorrhoids (HEM-uh-roids) are swollen and inflamed veins in your anus and lower rectum. When we’re standing or sitting the bend, called the anorectal angle, is kinked which puts upward pressure on the rectum and keeps the feces inside. The sitting posture actually keeps us in ‘continence mode’. We thank our lucky stars for this muscle when we don’t want to go but when we need to go, and sit on our toilet to do it – it sure makes elimination difficult and incomplete, creating the need to STRAIN.

By age 50, about half of adults have had to deal with the itching, discomfort and bleeding that can signal the presence of hemorrhoids. The veins around your anus tend to stretch under pressure and may bulge or swell. Swollen veins — hemorrhoids — can develop from an increase in pressure in the lower rectum.


Hemorrhoids can heal without relapse when the squat posture is adopted for bowel movements.


Eliminating completely and often helps maintain good colon health. Many studies point to fecal buildup in the colon as a cause of diseases including colon cancer. And when there is buildup in the colon, our bodies can’t absorb all the nutrients from the food we eat, leaving us without the energy we could enjoy if our colons were healthy.


Urinary flow is usually stronger and easier when women squat to urinate. The bladder is emptied more completely when squatting rather than sitting or “hovering”. Squatting can help reduce episodes of urinary tract infections in both frequency and intensity. Now, that is good news!


A 2008 study by Kaiser Permanente published in Obstetrics & Gynecology found that one-third of women suffer from one or more pelvic floor disorders. In addition, aging, obesity, and childbirth increase the likelihood of experiencing these issues. Although pelvic floor disorders are more common in women, men also suffer from similar symptoms the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey reports that nearly one in every five men ages 60 and older experience incontinence.

A network of ligaments, muscles and connective tissues, the pelvic floor acts as a “hammock” to support the pelvic organs, including the bladder and rectum – and in women, the uterus and vagina. Pelvic floor disorders, also called pelvic floor dysfunction, occur in both men and women when muscles and nerves in this area become damaged or weakened, causing the pelvic organs to prolapse (drop), which can lead to symptoms such as constipation and fecal and urinary incontinence.

“Most pelvic floor disorders are tied to the de-evolution of our normal evolutionary biology,” said Dr. Jack Kruse, optimal health coach and Nashville, Tenn.-based neurosurgeon specializing in treating chronic pain, neck pain and back pain. “By correcting our bathroom posture, the Squatty Potty can be a huge help to people suffering from these health problems. Not only is the Squatty Potty aesthetically pleasing, but it also makes a tremendous amount of sense with how we should eliminate.”

All these problems, and more, can be helped with the use of the Squatty Potty®. This innovative, health-giving toilet stool is easy to use and highly effective in positioning the colon for effortless bowel movements.

Unlike other contraptions you may have tried to assist in achieving a simulated or full squatting position over your toilet, the Squatty Potty mimics a natural squat posture, is ergonomic, comfortable, sturdy, convenient and affordable. It even slides out of the way under your toilet when not in use.

For more information from the National Cancer Institute about constipation or diarrhea, see the following:

About PDQ

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Purpose of This Summary

This PDQ cancer information summary has current information about the causes and treatment of gastrointestinal complications, including constipation, impaction, bowel obstruction, diarrhea, and radiation enteritis. It is meant to inform and help patients, families, and caregivers. It does not give formal guidelines or recommendations for making decisions about health care.

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Editorial Boards write the PDQ cancer information summaries and keep them up to date. These Boards are made up of experts in cancer treatment and other specialties related to cancer. The summaries are reviewed regularly and changes are made when there is new information. The date on each summary ("Updated") is the date of the most recent change.

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A clinical trial is a study to answer a scientific question, such as whether one treatment is better than another. Trials are based on past studies and what has been learned in the laboratory. Each trial answers certain scientific questions in order to find new and better ways to help cancer patients. During treatment clinical trials, information is collected about the effects of a new treatment and how well it works. If a clinical trial shows that a new treatment is better than one currently being used, the new treatment may become "standard." Patients may want to think about taking part in a clinical trial. Some clinical trials are open only to patients who have not started treatment.

Clinical trials can be found online at NCI's website. For more information, call the Cancer Information Service (CIS), NCI's contact center, at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237).

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The best way to cite this PDQ summary is:

PDQ® Supportive and Palliative Care Editorial Board. PDQ Gastrointestinal Complications. Bethesda, MD: National Cancer Institute. Updated <MM/DD/YYYY>. Available at: Accessed <MM/DD/YYYY>. [PMID: 26389438]

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