Chronic constipation

Long-term constipation (faecal impaction) can be painful and uncomfortable. Find out how we can help.

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Prolonged constipation can lead to a build-up of dry, hard poo in your rectum (the part of your large intestine where poo is stored). This is called chronic constipation (also known as faecal impaction). It can often lead to a leaking of diarrhoea-like stools, as well as other symptoms, like nausea and stomach cramping.

Need to know

Because the constipated poo is too hard to push out, your bowel begins to leak out watery stools, which may look like diarrhoea. Other symptoms of chronic constipation may include:

  • A feeling of needing to poo even after having you've gone to the toilet
  • Excessive straining when pooing
  • Stomach pains and cramping
  • Pooing less frequently
  • Bloating
  • Nausea
At our advanced neurogastroenterology diagnostic centre, your consultant will discuss your symptoms with you to help make a diagnosis. Using advanced methods, they may also carry out a study of your bowel to find out what is causing your constipation. By doing so, we'll be able to come up with treatment options (if required) which are tailored to you.
Your consultant will discuss your treatment options with you. This may range from laxatives and special bowel stimulants to biofeedback therapy and pelvic floor exercise.

Patient stories

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.