Bowel control 107
Try to pass stool at the same time every day or every other day. Do it even if you
have had an accidental bowel movement at another time. Eventually, your body
will adjust to the schedule and the stool will come out more easily at a regular time.
This is called a bowel program.
Suppositories such as bisacodyl or glycerin can be used. These bullet-shaped pills
put into the anus will stimulate the bowel and cause it to push out stool.
If you cannot use the muscles in your lower body to pass stool, you can help the
stool come out with a finger. You can also use this method if you have difficulty
passing stool (constipation) or have hard stools.
Stool usually comes out easier when you are sitting, so try to remove the stool
when you are sitting on a toilet or pot. If you cannot sit, try to do it lying on your
left side. Ask someone to help you if necessary. Be careful not to get any stool in
your vagina or urine hole. Harmful germs in the stool can cause an infection.
How to remove stool:
1. Cover your hand with a clean plastic or rubber glove, or a plastic bag. Put
vegetable or mineral oil on your pointing finger or on whatever finger works best.
2. Put your oiled finger into the anus about 2 cm (1 inch).
3. Gently move the finger in circles for about 1 minute, until the muscle relaxes
and the stool pushes out.
4. If the stool does not
come out by itself,
remove as much as you
can with your finger.
Be gentle, so you do
not scratch or cut the
skin inside the anus.
5. Clean the anus and the
skin around it well,
and wash your hands.
To keep your finger
clean, use a thin rubber
glove or ‘finger cot.’
Some women can remove stool while sitting in a wheelchair.
To do this, make a hole in the ground or have a container to
put the stool into. Then move forward on the seat, and turn
sideways as far as you can. Use a looped strap or a belt to pull
one leg over and up, so that you can reach your anus with
your hand. You can loop the other end of the strap around
your chair, to keep your leg in place.
A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities 2007