What does constipation really mean?

When your digestive system isn’t functioning properly—causing difficult or infrequent bowel movements, you might be constipated. Being regular can range from three bowel movements a day to three times a week depending on your age, what you eat and your daily exercise.

So what causes it, anyway?

Every action has a reaction. Certain diet and lifestyle choices, as well as physiological changes, surgery and medications can trigger constipation. When stools cannot quickly pass through your digestive system, they become hard and dry.

Let’s talk digestion.

You eat, food travels through your body, you poo. When movement stops or excess water absorbs into the bloodstream, constipation occurs.

Constipation myths

There is lots of information about constipation which is confusing, but there are some constipation myths you need to know about.

Featured articles

woman jogging outside with music listener

HOW I GET RELIEF

Relief is on the way.

Learn how to prevent constipation before it happens and what to do if it does.

Woman with black & white checked shirt reading a travel map

TRAVELLING TIPS

Avoid getting constipated while on the go.

Heading out of town? We’ll help you mark constipation off your to-do list.

Pregnant woman drinking a glass of water in a kitchen

WOMEN & PREGNANCY

Pregnant and constipated?

Get helpful tips on how to deal with discomfort over the next 9 months.

Woman with glasses checkin his phone on a sofa

AVOIDING CONSTIPATION

How to avoid constipation.

Learn how to recognise and dodge constipation.

Salad bowl and cup of tea on a table

DIET RECOMMENDATIONS

Eat your heart out, constipation.

Check out the best foods (and beverages) to help keep your system on track.

Doctor talking to his patient in doctor's office

CONSTIPATION MYTHS

Did you know?

Common myths about constipation and laxatives.