Learning how to properly wipe after passing a stool is important for good hygiene practice and in reducing irritation from endless wiping after a bowel movement. The safest way to prevent infection is to always remember to wipe from front to back.
For example, commonly in women, wiping from front to back is absolutely essential to prevent bacteria from entering the urethra. Often times when this happens, it might lead to a urinary tract infection and may require antibiotics to clear the infection.
Using plenty of crumpled or folded toilet paper, avoiding skin-to skin contact, wiping from front (the perineum) toward the anus is the best practice.
Causes of endless wiping after bowel movement
At times when endless wiping is required such as when diarrhea is persistent or severe, keeping the anus clean without causing irritation can be difficult. A sore bum from wiping too much is a common after-affect during diarrhea.
During this time using dry toilet paper might not be the best solution. In fact, baby wipes, or wet wipes might be a better approach to take. Many parts of the world have also adapted to using hand shower or a bidet to rinse the residues from the skin.
If there are ongoing rectal irritations, one home remedy a lot of people use to ease the pain is soaking in a bathtub with Epsom salt. Epsom salt has been shown to reduce inflammation and cause relief.
Another condition that might arise due to endless wiping after a bowel movement is itching. This condition is called pruritus ani and symptoms include redness and swelling due to an inflammatory response following the tear of the perianal tissues.
Home remedies for this condition includes emollient-rich barriers creams (contains Aloe Vera, vitamin A, vitamin E). During this time, its best if fragranced soaps, lotions, toilet paper, and wet wipes are avoided. There are over-the-counter drugs as well but before using these medications, it is best to discuss with a doctor or a pharmacist.
Reasons behind incomplete poop
The feeling of not having a satisfactory bowel movement is frustrating and can be quite uncomfortable. Not only is it physically uncomfortable, it can also lead to feeling worried and cause anxiety about when to go back to the washroom.
One condition that results in the feeling of incomplete evacuation is irritable bowel syndrome or IBS. It’s a little disheartening to say that although a lot of people have it, it is not well studied unfortunately not many treatments are out there for it.
What happens during incomplete evacuation? Visceral hypersensitivity and motility dysfunction are two common symptoms. Visceral hypersensitivity means there is heightened pain sensitivity in the organs associated with bowel syndrome, specifically in the large intestine, rectum and the anus.
Motility dysfunction refers to the lack of muscle activity of the digestive tract and therefore interfering with the smooth passing of the bowel through the intestine and out the anus.
For those who suffer constipation, there are a few things you could try. Increasing fiber in your diet or supplements has been shown to have a dramatic affect in people with constipation.
Along with diet, it is also important to ensure you have good bowel habits. Avoid skipping a day and try to use the toilet around the same time each day. For good hygiene and body health it is essential to remove as much of the bowel and/or toxins out of the body.
How to prevent bowel leakage
The first step to take when experiencing bowel leakage or fecal incontinence is to consult with a doctor. Your doctor will guide you through reasons for fecal incontinence and the treatments involved. There are a few easy “at-home” treatments to look into to treat your fecal incontinence:
- Diet Changes – avoiding foods and drinks that cause diarrhea should be avoided. Doctors recommend for those who constantly suffer bowel leakage, to monitor their diet by keeping a food diary. Taking fiber and drinking more fluids are great ways to alleviate the discomfort associated with constipation.
- Wearing Absorbent Pads: This method is the most frequently used treatment for bowel leakage. Wearing absorbent pads inside your underwear can make a big difference in your quality of life, as you don’t have to worry about soiling your underwear from bowel leakage accidents.
- Over the counter Medicines: These medications can help reduce your fecal incontinence and discomfort. Depending on your condition, although it’s best to consult with a doctor first to find the cause of the problem, medications such as loperamide, or pepto-bismol can relieve the discomfort. For those with constipation, fiber supplements such psyllium can help tremendously.
- Bowel Training: Previously mentioned, training your body to have bowel movements at certain times of day, everyday, is a great way to reduce the discomfort as well.
- Pelvic floor muscle exercises: These kinds of exercises are commonly known as “Kegel exercise”. It involves the tightening and relaxing of your pelvic floor muscles many times a day. This would strengthen the muscles in your anus, pelvic floor and rectum.
If symptoms of fecal incontinence are severe or continue to persist, your doctor may advise you to take more complex measures such as:
- Biofeedback therapy: Relating it back to the Kegel exercises mentioned above, sometimes biofeedback therapy might more effective. This therapy involves a device that can aid in how you do your exercises correctly and effectively.
- Sacral nerve stimulation: This therapy uses electrical stimulation to control the sacral nerves in the anal sphincters, colon and rectum and is usually given to patients with nerve dysfunction. Your doctor will place thin wires under the skin near the sacral nerves and aid in nerve activity.
- Prescription medicines: Sometimes your doctor will prescribe medications if over-the-counter medications are ineffective. Patients with IBS, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are often given prescribed medications.
- Surgery (sphincteroplasty, artificial anal sphincter, colostomy): Surgery is often times the last resort if all the other treatments mentioned above fail or fecal incontinence is caused by an injury.
Wiping Clean Poop
According to Dr. Marisol Teijeiro from Urban Wellness Clinic, if you are having a health poop, it turns out toilet paper should not be much use. “Wipe once” is all that is required and nothing should be left on the paper.
In short, a healthy bowel movement should sink, not float and should be dirt color (lighter brown vs dark). An interesting fact!