What happens when an enema doesn't work?

Table of contents:

  1. What happens when an enema doesn't work?
  2. How long after an enema will I have a normal bowel movement?
  3. Do enemas work for impacted stool?
  4. How do you know if an enema has worked?
  5. What if a laxative doesn't work?

What happens when an enema doesn't work?

Sometimes, if an enema alone doesn't do the trick, the stool must be broken up and removed by hand. Once the hard mass of stool is removed, your bowel habits should return to normal as long as you manage your future chances for constipation.

How long after an enema will I have a normal bowel movement?

It will work after a few minutes but stay near a toilet for the next hour because you may need to open your bowels more than once. The effects of the enema will wear off after one hour at most.

Do enemas work for impacted stool?

Treatment for the condition starts with removal of the impacted stool. After that, steps are taken to prevent future fecal impactions. A warm mineral oil enema is often used to soften and lubricate the stool. However, enemas alone are not enough to remove a large, hardened impaction in most cases.

How do you know if an enema has worked?

You may feel “heavy” in your abdomen and lower gastrointestinal (GI) tract. That's the result of the influx of fluid. You may also experience mild muscle contractions or spasms. This is a sign the enema is working.

What if a laxative doesn't work?

Stay in touch with your doctor while following your constipation treatment. You may need to switch treatments if one isn't working. It's possible to become dependent on laxatives and need them to have a bowel movement. In that case, your doctor may have to wean you off laxatives to get your system back to normal.