When it comes to being comfortable, softness matters when trying to find constipation relief. Constipation is the presence of hard, dry stools that are difficult or painful to pass or bowel movements that occur infrequently.1 Stool becomes hard when it stays too long in the colon and too much water is absorbed. Hard, dry stool is more difficult for the body to push out.1
Doctors and pharmacists commonly recommend stool softeners as an effective and gentle way to relieve constipation. Stool softeners work by increasing the amount of water absorbed by stool, making it softer and easier to pass. Stool softeners do not stimulate the bowels. This may be especially helpful for people who wish to avoid straining, like pregnant* or new moms*, people post-surgery†, or those that have certain medical conditions (like hemorrhoids or anal fissures).1
*If pregnant or breastfeeding, consult with a doctor before use.
†Patients who have cardiac and postoperative conditions where straining during bowel movements is to be avoided
- Constipation. The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC). National Institutes of Health. Treatment for Constipation. Available at https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/constipation/treatment. Accessed August 2017.