Causes of Constipation in Women

The various causes of constipation in women make the female species more prone to suffer from this problem in bowel movement. Constipation is a common digestive system problem where there is irregularity in the bowel movement and difficulty in passing the stool. The bowel movement when you are constipated is only two to three times a week. Constipation is a symptom and is not considered a disease. It is also very difficult for the health care provider to determine if the person is constipated because the bowel movement habits vary from one person to another. Constipation commonly happens in females, most especially pregnant women. There are many factors to consider in solving constipation in women since there are many different causes of constipation in women.

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What are the causes of constipation in women?

  • Pregnancy

This is one of the causes of constipation in women because of the hormonal changes undergone by the pregnant woman to make the body work differently from the pre-pregnant stage. In addition, a pregnant woman is not as physically active as she had been before pregnancy thus contributing to constipation.

  • Physical Inactivity

Exercising can help the woman stay fit and can also aid in keeping regular bowel movement. If the woman is physically active she can maintain her bowel movement at a healthy pace. When doing physical activity, it is not just the muscles of the body are moving but also the internal organs like the large intestine.

  • Inadequate fluid intake

This is probably one of the most obvious causes of constipation in women. Fluid intake plays an important role in maintaining and keeping the body healthy. It replenishes the fluids lost by the body and discards the toxins harming it. Aside from urinating, another way of removing the toxins in the body is through defecation. The water is absorbed in the intestines so it helps keep the stool soft making it easy to pass.

  • Poor bowel movement habits

When feeling the urge to defecate, it is important to respond to that urge immediately because if the urge is ignored, the desire to pass the stool will stop thereby leading to the progression of constipation. It is also good to discipline yourself every morning or at the end of the day to defecate even if the urge is not there. This is one way of maintaining regular bowel movement.

  • Lack of fiber in the diet

Fiber helps the body to pass well-formed stools easily. If fiber is lacking in the diet, the consistency of the stool will become more solid making it harder to pass thus leading to constipation.

  • Caffeine and alcohol intake

Many people don’t recognize the contribution of caffeine and alcohol intake as one of the causes of constipation in women. Caffeine and alcohol are diuretics which increase urination. When the body excretes too much water, it would become dehydrated. Since water can soften the stool to be excreted, it follows that if the body is dehydrated, there would not be enough water to pass the stool easily.


Some medications have side effects such as constipation. Antacids, anti-depressants, anti-convulsants, antihypertension, pain relievers, diuretics, antispasmodics and iron supplements are some of the drugs that can cause constipation in women.

  • Excessive use of laxatives

Laxatives can help eliminate stool, but excessive use of laxatives can change the natural defecation process. If laxatives are abused, the body would depend on the intake of the laxative for it to produce bowel movement.

  • • Medical Conditions

Constipation could also be a symptom of certain health problems or medical conditions.

How will the woman know if she is constipated?

The woman is constipated if she:

• defecates 3 times or lesser in a week

• feels that the stool is hard and dry

• has difficulty in starting the bowel movement

• has difficulty in passing the stool completely

• feels her abdomen is distended

• suffers nausea

• has loss of appetite

• has inability to pass out gas

How can the woman prevent constipation?

There are many ways to prevent constipation in women. If there is an urge to defecate then don’t ignore the feeling. Pass the stool immediately. Perform exercises regularly to encourage regular bowel movement. Increase the fiber and fluid intake to avoid the accumulation of hard stool in the intestines. If possible, avoid caffeinated drinks such as coffee, tea and alcohol so that there is no increased urination causing dehydration if the fluid is not adequately replaced. Proper usage of laxatives is important in keeping a regular bowel movement. Take time to ask the doctor of the possible side effects of the medications taken to be able to manage the resulting constipation.

How can constipation be treated?

The causes of constipation in women should be managed appropriately in order to have a regular bowel movement. If constipation occurs, the woman can manage it by eating fiber-rich foods and drinking adequate fluids. More importantly, the underlying causes of constipation in women should be addressed so recurrence can be avoided. The woman should consult the doctor if she feels that her constipation is worsening such as when she suffers sudden weight loss, observes blood in the stool or feels abdominal pain.

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Filed in: Women

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