WHAT TO DO WHEN CONSTIPATED ON THE TOILET | 6 STEPS TO POOP
Reviewed by: Horia Marculescu, MD
Do you find yourself constipated on the toilet and do not know what to do? Here are six steps to poop.
- Prepare your body to relax completely.
- Clean the toilet bowl with anti-bacterial soap.
- Place a footstool and semi-squat.
- Contract the abdomen.
- Strain the rectum.
- Take a pause and relax.
When you feel stool is ready to evacuate, proceed with gentle caution. The result should come naturally.
Follow the steps and learn to prepare your body for smooth defecation. Also, you will know about other techniques that help bowel movement.
1. PREPARE YOUR BODY
Are you wondering what to do when constipated on the toilet and need guidance?
The keys to having smooth defecation are:
- relaxing your puborectalis muscles
- relaxing the anal sphincter
- relaxing your body.
Preparing your body and mind before going to the toilet is a great technique to improve digestion.
Preparation is everything when you learn how to relieve constipation on the toilet. This thing means to relax your body and to relax even more your bottom. A tired body can’t handle proper digestion and bowel movement.
Squat before you go to the toilet
- Lower your body in the squat position
- Stay there for 30-60 seconds
- Lift your body
- Stay there for 30 seconds
- Start all over for 5-10 times
This technique is great for preparation. It relaxes the lower part of your body, and it makes the intestines expand.
These simple steps might be hard to do at first, but they will help you to relax your body. You can practice them when taking a break from work or study.
Get rid of negative emotions and stress
Negative emotions slow down digestion and stool evacuation. Our primitive instinct appears whenever we deal with stress or negative situations.
Due to this fact, digestion slows down, and our body sends all the resources to the
- the heart
Stress influences these vitals every time we are in a difficult situation. Long periods of stress combined with a diet low in nutrients and fiber are a cause of episodic constipation amongst adults and the elderly.
Drinking mineral water is an excellent thing to do when constipated on the toilet.
Dehydration is another cause of constipation, especially in adults. Similar to stress, long periods of dehydration have only undesirable effects over digestion and bowel movement.
Before going to the toilet, drink one glass of non-carbonated mineral water. In this way, your body will know that you are ready to poop and will have enough water to keep the intestines hydrated.
What do the experts say?
As reported by The World Journal of Gastroenterology:
Biopsychosocial risk factors such as psychological stress, poor dietary habits, obesity, and child maltreatment are commonly identified predisposing factors for Functional Constipation. 
According to The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases:
Drinking enough water and other liquids is also a good way to avoid dehydration. 
According to the same health authority:
Try to relax your muscles or put your feet on a footstool to make yourself more comfortable. 
Also, be patient and give yourself enough time until you have a bowel movement. When this thing happens, go immediately to the toilet. [back to top]
2. CLEAN THE TOILET
Sometimes our body puts pressure on the intestines and the nervous system when we know the toilet bowl is dirty. This thing makes us anxious, constipated, and tense.
So, here’s what to do when constipated on the toilet with Step 2.
Use anti-bacterial soap
Before you clean the toilet, get a sponge for the toilet bowl and one for the toilet seat.
The presence of viruses and bacteria is real. If you work in a dirty environment or you have pets at home, this thing might be a problem.
A clean toilet relaxes our body and mind. A clear mind will help to have proper stool evacuation.
As a cleaning rule:
- Clean your toilet bowl once every week.
- Clean your toilet seat once every week.
- Keep the sponges separately in a safe place
- Mark the sponges to know which ones to use.
Public restrooms are a negative example.
When you need to poop, you need to stay relaxed on the toilet and not worry that you might get bacteria if you sit on the toilet bowl. Not to mention, if you are a girl, that is even more necessary. [back to top]
3. SQUAT ON THE TOILET SEAT
If you suffer from episodic constipation or a severe type, the position you stay on the toilet is essential. Semi-squatting relaxes the anal sphincter and creates a clear path through the anorectal canal.
So, what to do when constipated on the toilet in Step 3?
Use a footstool
- Put the footstool near the toilet bowl.
- Make sure it does not move.
- Turn around and put your feet on it.
- Lower your body slowly over the toilet seat.
If you don’t have a footstool or a stand, then squat 5-10 minutes before you go to the toilet. In this way, your rectum and puborectalis muscles will relax before you decide to poop.
How does squatting work?
It relaxes the puborectalis muscles. It increases the anorectal angle. It unlocks the kink at the entrance of the rectum. The stool will evacuate because of the unlocked kink
Most of the time, sitting on the toilet is similar to sitting on a chair. This thing does not help much with constipation.
Which posture is the best?
The “Squat” posture is the best position to poop in when constipated. Semi-Squatting is identical, and it does the same thing. You can practice it on the toilet bowl or off it. These positions keep your knees higher than the hips.
If the standard position of sitting on the toilet works for you, then that’s ok. But If you suffer from severe or chronic constipation, you should consider buying or creating a footstool.
What do the experts say?
According to The National Institute of Health:
The squat movement pattern is required for essential activities of daily living such as sitting, lifting, and most sporting activities. 
Squatting is an excellent position to consider because it improves digestion and motility. It does so by releasing tension in the abdomen and rectum.
Also, it has positive biomechanical and neuromuscular implications on body control, strength, stability, and mobility. [back to top]
4. CONTRACT THE UPPER ABDOMEN
Here is what to do when in Step 4.
After you’re in position on the toilet seat, you need to simulate as if you were pooping. This thing doesn’t mean you have to stay all day long and get stuck on the toilet with constipation.
You can do this by contracting the muscles in the abdomen and over your belly. Contract only the abdomen muscles without the rectum and intestines.
How to contract the upper abdomen?
- Take a deep breath
- Keep the air inside
- Focus your mind on the pectoral muscles.
- Bring the air towards the neck.
Take a deep breath and keep the air inside. Focus your mind on the pectoral muscles. You should feel pressure under the neck.
Contract the muscles and keep them tensed for 5-10 seconds. It is like pushing a heavy object away from your pectoral muscles.
After 10 seconds, release the air and take a small pause. You can do this contraction without keeping the air inside the lungs. Air increases lung volume. Thus, it makes the intestines move.
Another way is to imagine that you were lifting weights. Imagine it as if you were lying on the ground with your hand up.
Contraction helps because
- The intestines will feel the contraction.
- Constant contraction creates movement of the stool.
- Movement creates pressure.
- Intestinal motility is active.
- Pressure and gas make the stool evacuate.
Muscle contraction is beneficial for having constipation relief when going to the bathroom. Also, it will create pressure because of gas in the intestines and their wall movement. The stool in the intestines creates gas because of fermentation, glucose, and humidity.
Intestinal walls expand and move, and they make the stool to continue its journey towards evacuation.
To have better results
To have better results, here is what to do when constipated: simulate muscle contraction 30 minutes before you go to the toilet.
You can mix muscle contraction with squatting to relax the sphincter and puborectalis muscles quicker. For most people suffering from constipation, the four steps described above in detail are enough to stimulate bowel movement.
If you want to have good intestinal motility and alleviate constipation, practice these steps as often as you can. And consider them as a way of relaxing your body or taking a break from work.
- Contract the abdominal muscles five times a minute.
- Repeat this step 1-2 times slowly.
- After 5-10 minutes, you should feel a light bowel movement.
- When you feel the stool is ready to evacuate, lower your body, and let it go.
What do the experts say?
According to The American College of Gastroenterology:
This can be treated with biofeedback or muscle retraining exercises; 
The health authority recommends relaxing the anorectal muscles and the pelvic floor with muscle movement. As opposed to taking medication. [back to top]
5. STRAIN THE RECTUM HARD
Here is the most crucial step on what to do when constipated on the toilet.
Strain and push the rectum
If you feel that the large intestine and the rectum are ready to eliminate the stool, then push the intestines and rectum hard. Try to visualize and feel how the matter inside the large intestine moves towards the rectum.
After you relax the puborectalis muscles and sphincter with squatting and short breaks, the stool will have a clear path towards the rectum.
Repeat step six as follows:
- Slowly strain or push the rectum for 5-10 seconds.
- Take a pause.
- Strain the rectum hard for 1-5 seconds.
- Take a pause.
- Finally, push your rectum hard to evacuate the stool.
Repeat these steps until you feel the stool tickling inside the anus. When you feel the stool near the anus, put all the pressure on that specific area.
Take deep breaths to fill your lungs with air. After air enters your lungs, keep the air for 5-10 seconds while you try to poop. After you pushed the rectum and abdomen, let the air out and relax.
Push and to stay calm
Do it as if you were trying to lift weights and squat at the same time. This movement creates pressure in the rectum.
Practice it for 5-10 seconds and pause. Then repeat it. So, the stool will evacuate slowly, but surely, without any trouble. You can take pauses if you feel there isn’t much stool movement. But keep in mind the steps and repeat them slowly.
Don’t push too much because of
- gas evacuation
- intestinal irritation
If you feel irritation and pain often, then you suffer from chronic and severe types of constipation. Pushing, contracting muscles, and putting too much pressure on your abdomen is not a great idea in the long-term.
If all of the symptoms mentioned above affect you or get worse, try to have a diet with more liquid foods.
What do the experts say?
According to The World Gastroenterology Organization:
Bowel training can lead to improvement in symptoms so it should be tried as a first-line treatment. 
Bowel training includes biofeedback, straining, pelvic floor relaxation, and simulating defecation. [back to top]
6. TAKE A PAUSE
To relieve constipation in the long term, here is what to when constipated on the toilet, with step 6.
- Stand on your feet
- Go out and take a walk
- Sit on a couch
- Stretch your hands slowly
- Squat with pauses.
Taking pauses is essential to relax your bottom and to keep good blood flow around the abdomen. If you suffer from stress and can’t have constipation relief when visiting the toilet, you need to manage things that affect you.
Try to take pauses or breaks at least once every two hours. Even before you go to the toilet, take a break and walk for 1-5 minutes to let relax your body.
A 10 minutes pause once every two hours will also do the job. Ideally, you want to have a 10 minutes pause from work or study every 50 minutes. [back to top]
7. OTHER TECHNIQUES
The following techniques help you create pressure inside the intestine and force the stool to move towards the rectum. So, here’s what else to do when constipated on the toilet.
Drink hot tea
Drinking hot tea before going to the toilet will create gas in the intestines. The heat makes the matter inside to ferment or to dissolve.
In this way, the matter that stays glued to the intestinal walls can disintegrate very well because of hot liquids.
Gas creates pressure inside the intestines. The intestines modify their volume. So, try to drink tea only before you want to go to the toilet.
Drink fruit juice and chicory
Chicory juice has laxative effects. Chicory is usually a white powder that has a sweet taste. You can combine it with any liquid juice or just non-carbonated mineral water.
How to use this technique?
- Heat some water
- Mix the powder in a glass
- Drink 1-2 glasses of chicory juice.
- Wait 10-15 minutes.
Don’t drink more than two glasses to prevent leaks and excessive fermentation.
Medicine is beneficial for short episodes of constipation. Taking too many laxatives is not a great thing to do when constipated on the toilet because it creates dependency.
Laxatives create uncontrolled bowel movements. You need to take the day off. And have a clean toilet nearby anytime. You need to prepare yourself for 1-6 pooping episodes to evacuate the stool.
If you don’t want to take laxatives, you can take bile supplements to improve digestion and stool evacuation.
Take pancreatic supplements
Pancreatic supplements help digestion and stool movements. These pills do not have side effects and, you can control when you want to poop.
Pancreatic supplements have an instant effect. They combine the bile with pancreatic juices to improve digestion. [back to top]
8. A WORD OF CAUTION
If you suffer from severe constipation for more than three months, then it is time to see a doctor.
You will need to take some blood and stool tests to help you and the doctor establish a diagnostic and treatment.
The advice and the techniques in this guide cannot replace the opinion and the diagnostic of an authorized and specialized doctor. [back to top]
There are many other techniques and things on what to do when constipated on the toilet. But they are not as effective as the ones mentioned above.
You can easily use the seven steps presented to poop if you suffer from constipation.
The techniques of preparing your body and straining your abdominal muscles improve stool evacuation in the long-term.
You can combine these steps by taking medicine or by drinking certain liquids that create pressure and push the stool to evacuate. [back to top]
- Stuck on the toilet with constipation
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- Best Position to Poop In When Constipated
- How to poop when constipated on the toilet
About the author
My name is Sebastian D., and I am the senior editor of constipationguide.com. With the help of my mentor, Dr. Horia Marculescu, I decided to create a practical guide to constipation relief.. read more