What is constipation?
Constipation is a change in your bowel habit that involves any of the following:
Numerous factors can cause constipation including medicines, medical conditions and reduced mobility.
Constipation in pregnancy and breastfeeding
Constipation is very common in pregnancy and in the period after birth. Fibre supplements are recommended as the first treatment option. Docusate (without senna), lactulose and macrogol are all safe to use in pregnancy and breastfeeding
Fibre is found in a variety of foods such as legumes, fruit and vegetables, nuts, wholegrains and seeds. There are certain laxatives that contain fibre: psyllium (Metamucil®) sterculia (Normacol Plus® and Normafibe®) and isphagula husk (Fybogel®). These are suitable for the treatment of constipation in patients who are able to move around easily and drink lots of water. Constipation may worsen if there is inadequate fluid intake with fibre supplements.
What are some other strategies used to treat constipation?
All people with constipation are likely to benefit from dietary and lifestyle changes. This includes:
Which medicines can cause constipation?
This is not a complete list. Many other medicines can cause constipation. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist if you would like more information
When should you see your doctor?
Certain signs may require you to see your doctor, such as: