Being constipated means your bowel movements are tough or happen less often than normal. Almost everyone goes through it sooner or later.
Although it’s not usually serious, you'll feel much better when your body is back on track.
The normal length of time between bowel movements varies widely from person to person. Some people have them three times a day. Others have them only once or twice a week.
Going longer than 3 or more days without one, though, is usually too long. After 3 days, the stool or faeces become harder and more difficult to pass.
The most common causes include:
not eating enough fibre - such as fruit, vegetables and cereals
not drinking enough fluids
not exercising or being less active
often ignoring the urge to go to the toilet
changing your diet or daily routine
stress, anxiety or depression
a side effect of medication
Constipation is also common during pregnancy and for six weeks after giving birth.
Passing fewer than three stools a week.
Having lumpy or hard stools.
Straining to have bowel movements.
Feeling as though there's a blockage in your rectum that prevents bowel movements.
Feeling as though you can't completely empty the stool from your rectum.
Needing help to empty your rectum, such as using your hands to press on your abdomen and using a finger to remove stool from your rectum.