Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"How many bowel movements should someone have in a day?"
Sometimes I don't have a bowel movement for serveral days at a time. I'm a healthy 22 year old female and don't know why my body is like this. Is it normal or is something wrong with me?
It is important to discuss your symptoms with your primary care provider who is aware of your medical and family history. Although most people think it is "normal" to have one bowel movement a day, the actual range of normal bowel movements is quite large. Most health care professionals consider it normal to have anywhere from as many as three bowel movements a day to as little as three bowel movements a week. More importantly is knowing what is normal for you. If you go from having two bowel movements a day to then not having one for several days this could indicate a problem. If you normally only have a bowel movement every few days but it is soft and you don't have to strain too much then this is perfectly normal. If you have small pellet like stools, have to strain hard every time you have a bowel movement, have pain during a bowel movement, or have any blood when you wipe, these are all signs of constipation and it is important to see your doctor to discuss your symptoms and treatment. To prevent constipation drink plenty of water, exercise regularly, and have a diet high in fruits, vegetables and fiber. Again, please discuss your concerns with your doctor.
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