Do you have a healthy bowel?

by | Aug 24, 2023

Bowel habits are often not talked about.  This is a shame because problems with the bowel can have a huge impact on a person’s life, causing issues such as bowel urgency, constipation, leakage of faeces and gas.  In addition, we often find that problems with the bowel can affect other functions in the pelvis.

For example, when the rectum becomes distended due to constipation, this can produce pressure on other neighbouring organs such as the bladder.  This in turn can lead to urinary urgency or incontinence, or even pelvic pain.

Likewise, if someone feels they are not emptying their bowel properly and tends to strain, this can stretch and weaken the pelvic floor, producing other bladder or bowel issues.

Seeing a women’s health physiotherapist to help normalize bowel function can be very helpful.  But how do you know if you actually have a bowel problem?

Here’s a quick guide to help you. Do you :

  • Use your bowels less than 3-4 times per week?
  • Feel there is incomplete emptying after using your bowels?
  • Strain when attempting to pass a stool?
  • Need to sit on the toilet for more than 10 minutes to initiate a bowel motion?
  • Have a sudden, overwhelming urge to use your bowels that is difficult to defer?
  • Have very soft or loose stools?
  • Have leakage from your bowel?
  • Leak gas from your bowel?


If you answered yes to any of the above, you may benefit from seeing a women’s health physiotherapist.  There are some people, however, who need to have a review with their doctor first and its important to work out if this applies to you.  Do you answer yes to any of the following:

  • Have an itch or irritated skin around your anus?
  • Have pain when you use your bowel?
  • Have some bowel motions which are black or which contain blood?
  • Have a lump near your anus?

If any of the categories on this second list apply to you, please make an appointment with your GP.  After you have done this and completed any necessary medical treatment and screening, then it is wise to visit a women’s health physiotherapist, if you still have concerns about your bowels. Please make an appointment today to see Natasha – call our helpful front desk team on 6056 6616.

My next blog will contain top tips for maintaining regular bowel habits and avoiding constipation.



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