It is rare for a patient to come to my clinic with complaints of constipation or bowel issues but, it is not rare for part of my treatment to involve education on bowel health. 

Here are some common symptoms that I will see that lead to a “poop talk.”

  • Abdominal pains
  • Bladder urgency or leakage
  • Pelvic floor aching or heaviness
  • A change in bowel control or irritable bowel symptoms

Factors that I consider when determining if someone’s bowel health is less than optimal include:

  • Bowel frequency
  • The shape and consistency of the feces
  • Frequency of straining to evacuate
  • Frequency of incomplete evacuation
  • Hydration
  • Fiber
  • Essential micronutrients found in vitamins and minerals
  • Toilet Habits and position
  • Sleep
  • Stress levels

According to The World Gastroenterology Organization ( ) their definition of constipation; it takes 12 weeks to determine if someone is constipated.  I think if someone has changes in their bowel habits and waits 12 weeks before seeking treatment then they have likely caused some pelvic floor problems that will not resolve with just taking a laxative, stool softener or increasing their fiber.  This is where a Physiotherapist that has extra training and experience in Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy can help. 

After taking a thorough history of my patients and assessing their pelvic floor,  I come up with a treatment. 

Step 1 of the treatment for constipation could directly involve pelvic floor exercises.  Often the exercises will include down training the pelvic floor and improving the muscle coordination. 

Step 2 of the treatment, is education on proper hydration. Hydration is important to survival, the average human body weight is made up of 50-60% water.  So that means that if you weigh 150 pounds your body is 75-90 pounds of water.  If we look at an average day of life in today’s world, you might go to the gym for 30- 60 min in the morning, go to work for 8-10 hours and come home.  How much of your day involves consuming hydrating fluids?  What are hydrating fluids?  Water, pure juice, herbal teas, carbonated water, and milk or milk alternatives.

How much water should you drink? Your bodyweight in pounds divided by 2 is approximately the number of ounces of fluid you should be drinking to live and breathe.  If you work out, you should drink 1 L of fluid for every hour you exercise.  Urine is also a good indicator of hydration.  If your urine is clear when you pee then you are well hydrated. 

Hydration can also help with numerous symptoms that the pelvic floor also influences.

Symptoms such as pelvic organ prolapse, constipation, reoccurring UTIs or pelvic pain.

Hydration links discussing the importance of hydration:

Step 3 involves some form of movement.  The benefits of daily exercise is endless and bowel health is included in that list of endless benefits.  According to the WHO (World Health Organization), 150 minutes/week or approximately 22 minutes/day of moderate exercise will help promote a healthy lifestyle.  To see more on the recommendations and learn the definition of moderate exercise visit:

If you have concerns or have bowel health issues and have never seen a pelvic floor physiotherapist, it might be the next step that can move you into a healthier state.

Book Now to see Leona Ham BSc. P.T,  Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist.