Constipation in Men


Constipation is a common but often overlooked health issue in men. It’s characterized by infrequent bowel movements, difficulty defacating, or a feeling of incomplete evacuation. This condition can be influenced by numerous factors such as dietary habits, physical activity, medication, and underlying medical conditions.

Though it’s usually temporary, persistent constipation may indicate a more serious health concern and warrants medical attention. This informative piece will explore the specific causes, symptoms, and treatments of constipation in men, aiming to raise awareness and provide useful information for managing and preventing this discomforting condition.

Constipation and Its Impact on Men

Constipation in men is a gastrointestinal problem that affects many men, often causing discomfort and inconvenience. It is a condition where bowel movements become infrequent or difficult to pass, resulting in discomfort and sometimes pain. The rectum, colon, and digestive tract are essential organs involved in the process of movements of the bowel.

constipation in men is a condition that affects the bowels
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Generally constipation occurs when stool moves too slowly through the digestive corridor and becomes hard and dry. As a result, it can be hard to push the feces out, leading to difficulties in passing feces. Stool buildup in the colon may cause stomach cramping, pain and bloating, and even rectal bleeding in some cases.

Impact on Men

Men get constipated more than women. This is because men often have a slower rate of digestion, which means that food takes longer to pass through their digestive system. Additionally, men may be less likely to seek medical help for constipation, leading to the condition becoming chronic.

People with chronic constipation can find life distressing and it eventually affects quality of life. In severe cases of constipation in men, it can also lead to other health problems, such as hemorrhoids, fissures, and fecal impaction, which can require medical intervention.

  • Tip: If you are experiencing constipation symptoms, it is essential to seek treatment and consult your doctor, especially if you have other underlying health conditions.

Now that you understand the basics of constipation and its impact on men’s health, exploring the possible causes of this common digestive problem is essential.

Causes of Constipation in Men – What can Cause Constipation?

Constipation in men is a common digestive issue that can affect men of all ages. Some of the key factors responsible for causing constipation in men may include:

  1. Low fluid intake: Not drinking enough water or other liquids can lead to dehydration, making it harder for excrements to pass through the digestive corridor.
  2. Sedentary lifestyle: A lack of physical activity can slow down the digestive process, leading to the accumulation of waste materials in the colon.
  3. Medications: Certain medicines, such as antidepressants, painkillers, opioid pain medications and blood pressure drugs, can cause constipation in some men by affecting the muscles and nerves in the digestive system.
  4. Underlying medical conditions: Certain health conditions, such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, and Parkinson’s disease, can cause constipation in men.

Low Fluid Intake

Drinking enough water and other fluids is essential for maintaining healthy movements of the bowel.

lack of hydration can cause constipation in men
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When the body doesn’t get enough fluids, the colon absorbs more water from the feces, making them harder and difficult to pass. Men who are physically active or sweat excessively may need more fluids to stay hydrated and avoid constipation.

Sedentary Lifestyle

Maintaining an active lifestyle is crucial for proper digestive function. Regular exercise helps to stimulate the muscles in the bowel and reduce the amount of time it takes for waste materials to pass through the digestive tract. Men who spend long hours sitting or have a desk job may be more prone to constipation than those who are more physically active.


Certain medications can contribute to constipation as a side effect. Opioid painkillers, antidepressants, and some blood pressure drugs are known to affect the normal functioning of the digestive system, leading to constipation. Men taking these medications should speak to their doctor about managing constipation.

Underlying Medical Conditions

Some health conditions can cause constipation in men. Diabetes, hypothyroidism, and Parkinson’s disease are common examples of conditions that affect the way the digestive system works. Men with these conditions may need to monitor their bowel movements and seek medical attention if they experience constipation.

Symptoms of Constipation in Male – Constipation Diagnosed

Constipation manifests differently in men than in women. Men tend to experience more anorectal and intestinal discomfort symptoms, while women are more likely to report bloating and abdominal pain. The following are some common symptoms and causes of male constipation:

  • Difficulty passing stool: Men may find it hard to get their bowels moving, and may strain or push excessively during movements of the bowel.
  • Abdominal pain: Constipation can cause stomach pain and discomfort, especially in the lower abdominal area. Men may experience cramps or a feeling of fullness.
  • Rectal discomfort: Constipation often results in rectal discomfort and pain, as excrement may become stuck in the rectum. Men may also experience a sensation of rectal blockage or incomplete evacuation.
  • Changes in stool consistency: Men may notice their feces becoming harder and more difficult to pass, or they may experience small, hard pellets instead of soft, formed feces.
  • Bowel movement infrequency: Men experiencing constipation may have fewer movements of the bowel than usual and may go several days without it.
  • Bloating and flatulence: Constipation can cause bloating and flatulence as gas builds up in the colon and intestine.

When to Seek Medical Attention

If you experience any of the symptoms above, it’s important to take action. However, in some instances of constipation in men, medical attention may be necessary.

doctor's advice for chronic constipation in men
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If you have severe constipation (meaning it lasts for several weeks or more), or if your symptoms worsen, you should seek medical attention. Long-lasting constipation can lead to other health issues, such as haemorrhoids, anal fissures, and even rectal prolapse.

Treatment for Constipation in Men – Laxatives, Diet and Others to Treat Constipation

There are several treatment options available for men dealing with constipation. The most appropriate treatment will depend on the underlying cause and severity of the symptoms. It is important to consult with a healthcare provider before embarking on any treatment plan. Here are some common treatment options for male constipation relief:


Laxatives are medications that help to soften stools and promote regular movements of the bowel. They come in different forms, including pills, liquids, and suppositories. It is important to use laxatives as directed by a healthcare provider, as overuse can lead to dependency and other complications.

Dietary Changes

Making changes to the diet can help with constipation. Increasing the consumption of fiber-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can promote regular movements of the bowel. It is also important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and other liquids.

Physical Activity

Sedentary lifestyle is a common cause of constipation in men. Regular physical activity, such as walking, jogging, or swimming, can help stimulate bowel movements and can be used to treat constipation.

Pelvic Floor Exercises

For men who have difficulty defecating due to weakened pelvic floor muscles, pelvic floor exercises may be helpful. These exercises involve squeezing and relaxing the muscles that control movements of the bowel, and they can improve the strength and coordination of these muscles over time.

exercise and healthy lifestyle help prevent constipation in men
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Overall, a combination of lifestyle changes and medical interventions can effectively treat male constipation. Working closely with a healthcare provider can help to determine the most appropriate treatment plan for each individual case based on your symptoms.

Complications of Constipation in Men and Seeking Medical Attention

Although most cases of constipation in men can be managed effectively with lifestyle changes and over-the-counter remedies, there are times when medical attention may be necessary.

Chronic Constipation:

If you have been experiencing constipation for an extended period, three or more weeks, it may be a sign of chronic constipation, which may require medical attention.

Worsening Symptoms:

If your symptoms are becoming worse, or you are experiencing new symptoms such as persistent nausea, vomiting, or rectal bleeding, it may be time to see a doctor.

Long-Term Constipation:

People with long-term constipation complain about complications such as hemorrhoids, anal fissures, or fecal impaction. Seek medical advice if you have pain when passing stools or have been constipated for over a week.

It is essential to seek medical attention if you have a history of colon cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, or any other medical condition that affects the digestive system.

Remember, early detection and intervention can prevent long-term complications and improve your quality of life.

How to Prevent Constipation in Men?

Constipation is commonly prevalent in men, but there are several things you can do to prevent it from happening. Here are some tips to help keep your movements of the bowel regular and healthy:

Eat a High-fiber Diet

Fiber is essential for keeping your digestive system functioning properly. It adds bulk to your stool, making it easier to pass, and also helps regulate bowel movements.

high fiber diet can help with constipation in men
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A doctor may recommend at least 25 grams of fiber per day by including foods such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes in your diet.

Stay Hydrated

Drinking enough liquid substances can help keep your stool soft and avert constipation. Make sure to drink plenty of water and other fluids throughout the day, particularly if you are physically active or live in a hot climate.

Get Regular Exercise

Physical activity is essential for maintaining proper bowel function. Aim to exercise for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week, whether it is a brisk walk, a bike ride, or a workout at the gym. Regular exercise and physical therapy can help stimulate movements of the bowel and prevent constipation.

Establish Healthy Bowel Habits

Try to establish a regular routine for movements of the bowel by going to the bathroom at the same time each day. Avoid holding in your stool for long periods, as this can lead to gastrointestinal issues. Also, make sure to take your time in the bathroom and ensure that you fully evacuate your bowel.

Avoid Trigger Foods

Certain foods can trigger constipation in some men. Foods that are low in fiber, such as processed foods or refined grains, are common culprits. Additionally, eating too much dairy or red meat can also lead to constipation in some individuals.

Following these simple tips can help prevent constipation and promote healthy bowel function. If you still experience constipation despite making these lifestyle changes, be sure to speak with your healthcare provider for additional advice and treatment options.

Frequently Asked Questions about Constipation in Men

What causes male constipation?

Causes of constipation include a diet low in fiber, inadequate liquid intake, lack of physical activity, changes in routine or lifestyle, overuse of laxatives, ignoring the urge to have a bowel movement, certain medications, and underlying medical conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome or diabetes.

What helps constipation for men?

To alleviate constipation, men can increase their fiber intake with foods like fruits, vegetables, and integral grains, drink plenty of water, exercise regularly, and maintain a regular bowel movement schedule. Over-the-counter or prescription laxatives may also be used as directed by a healthcare professional.

What are the symptoms of constipation in a man?

Constipation symptoms can include fewer than three times a week of bowel movements, hard or lumpy stools, straining to have bowel movements, feeling as though there’s a blockage in your rectum that prevents bowel movements, and feeling like you can’t completely empty the stool from your rectum.

When should I be worried about constipation?

You should be concerned about constipation if it lasts for several weeks or more, if it’s associated with blood in your stools, severe stomach pain, unexplained weight loss, puckered anus or if it’s a new problem for you and is accompanied by any other changes in your bowel habits. These symptoms could indicate a more serious condition that requires medical attention.