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Colorectal Diseases

Bowel movements



I am 53 years old and have had infrequent bowel movements since I was 5/6 years old. When I was pregnant with my first child the inferequency then became accompanied with pain on my left side when I final had what I have called for years "bowel attack". My movements can range from nothing for 2 - 4 weeks. After testing for bladder inconteniene I am wondering if my constant constipation if causing the bladder issues. I have had my tailbone serviously injured twice. First time was back when I was about 5 years old. I also have be told recently that I have a retroverted uterus. I have tried for the last month to increase my fiber in take to ensure I am getting what I believe is the required 21grams a day. I have tracting my in take. I have be been so constipated for the last 2 weeks with only small bowel movements of a lump of stool (large pellet looking) of one or 2 a day. I have been in so much discomfort with back pain, pelvic pain, abdomenal pain. Stool remains in my rectum. I have not cancer of this area in my family. In fact we have not cancer of any type in my family till just last year when I lost my mom (age 75) to uterine cancer and my youngest sister (age 48) 10 days after my mom died diagnosed with ovarian cancer. The testing for my bladder left me with very high anxiety and panic attacks due to the doctor not advising all the use of catheters in volved in the testing. They put one in my rectal which was not advised before day of testing. I suffer for depression and have been on medication for it for over 10 years. Part of me is concerned now about my issues with the infrequent bowel movements and the resulting constant constipation. The Kegel exercises I am trying to do for my bladder issue are being complicated by my constipation issues. I do not have bowel movements with out staining in one way or another. Your thoughts would be appreciated.

Over whelmed and become obcessed with concern on my health.


You should be seen and evaluated by someone special training in the evaluation and diagnosis of colorectal diseases. There are many things that could cause your symptoms; the best way to get an answer is to have a thorough examination, and possibly a few diagnostic tests.

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Response by:

Janice Frederick Rafferty, MD Janice Frederick Rafferty, MD
Professor of Surgery
Chief of Colorectal Surgery Division
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati