Poop is too Big to Come Out And Hurts (stuck halfway): 3 Home remedies, Doctor Explains.
Our content is not intended nor recommended as a substitute for medical advice by your doctor. Use for informational purposes only.
A sense of too big stool that is hard to come is a sign of severe constipation or stool impaction. Relaxing your sphincters and taking a good laxative or enema to pass stool without hurting your anal canal is better.
when your stool becomes stuck halfway out, it is possible to be either:
- severe constipation, or
- Fecal impaction.
The first question: Is it severe constipation or fecal – impaction?
The feeling of hard stools stuck inside your rectum is painful and overwhelming, especially if you’re chronic constipation or an IBS-Constipation sufferer.
Before trying to pass the hard poop, answer an important question: Is it constipation or a fecal impaction?
The term constipation describes a small, hard, and dry stool that is difficult & painful to pass. Usually, you have fewer than three bowel motions per week (ref)
The hard poop can grow big, making it stuck halfway and becmoe
And it can even grow more and more to form a large, hard mass inside your rectum or sigmoid colon. This ultimately leads to what so-called “fecal impaction.”
It is important to know the difference to determine your next step.
Fecal impaction is a potentially serious condition that usually requires help from your doctor.
Questions I usually ask my patients to determine whether it is severe constipation or fecal impaction:
- Do you have a “persistent urge” to poop that is not going away?
A distinctive feature between usual constipation with hard stool and a true fecal impaction is the “persistent urge.”
Feeling you have to empty your colon all the time but are unable and nothing comes out may indicate fecal impaction (ref).
While with constipation, the urge to poop usually comes and goes but doesn’t persist for long hours.
- Do you have some “liquid poop” leaks while feeling constipated?
If you have fecal impaction, liquid parts of the stool can leak around the impacted hard poop mass.
This may cause stool incontinence and can be mistaken for diarrhea (ref).
Liquid stool due to fecal impaction is associated with persistent urge and lower abdominal pain. Also, the leak is usually small in amount and not as explosive as usual diarrhea.
- Do you have abdominal pain that is not going away?
You may experience persistent abdominal pain that cannot go away with fecal impaction. In addition, the pain increases after meals (ref).
With constipation, the pain is mild or non-persistent (comes and goes).
- Do you have a poor appetite, nausea, headache, general sick feeling, or even vomiting?
Fecal impaction can lead to more complex symptoms and complications such as nausea, vomiting, headache, and malaise (general ill feeling).
Constipation rarely causes this.
- Do you have thirst, rapid breathing, fast heartbeats, or even fever and confusion?
In severe cases of fecal impaction, it can lead to true intestinal obstruction or inflammation. This may end in dehydration symptoms (such as thirst, confusion, rapid breathing, or rapid pulse). If you experience any of these symptoms with the inability to pass stool, seek urgent medical help.
Also, the risk factors for fecal impaction should be considered. They include:
- Being an elderly female.
- Reduced physical activity.
- Bed-ridden debilitated elderly.
- Neurological diseases: Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, and others.
- Regular use of medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and some anti-hypertensives.
Remedy 1: Try a pelvic relaxation technique:
1. Take the right “poop posture.”
It is important to be in the right posture to relax your pelvic muscles.
- You have to position your knees higher than your hips.
- Slightly lean forward and put your elbows on your knees.
- You can do this by either “sitting on” the toilet or using a footstool.
- This posture may trigger you to stain more, so you must remember to relax and only push poop out gently and only after you’re relaxed.
- Always stay focused on relaxing your pelvic muscles and sphincters.
2. Don’t force the hard poop out by straining; try this instead:
Why overstraining can hurt you:
Trying to pass the hard stool forcibly is risky. Forcible passage of a too big poop mass can result in:
- Forceful straining prevents the relaxation of your involuntary “internal anal sphincter.”
- Anal fissure: a tear in the lining of the anal canal, a very painful condition that can lead to further constipation.
- A deeper tear can happen involving the muscles around your anal canal.
- Rectal prolapse: straining can cause the rectal wall to stretch and protrude to the outside.
- Even hemorrhoids can occur.
Instead, use the Power of “conscious relaxation” of your sphincters and pelvic muscles.
Unlike straining, conscious relaxing and deep breathing can help you avoid this painful experience.
You have two sphincters (muscle rings) around your anal canal (ref).
- External anal sphincter: a voluntary muscle under your complete control.
- Internal anal sphincter: an Involuntary muscle that can spasm if you try to push hard poop against it.
- Also, some “pelvic floor muscles” contribute to the process of defecation. gaining control over these involuntary muscles can be life-saving
So, it is important to learn how to relax your involuntary internal sphincter and pelvic floor muscles. That will help you to pass the big poop mass with the lowest risks and pain.
Here is how to relax:
- Close your eyes: Closing your eyes will prepare you to start focusing on relaxation.
- Breath slowly and deeply: gaining control over your involuntary nervous system starts with respiration. Slow, deep, conscious respiration help your decrease tension and stress and gradually relieves the spasm in your sphincters and pelvic floor muscles.
- Stop the Fear circle: the image of “extreme pain” inside your head is your biggest enemy. No relaxation will occur as long as you’re expecting severe pain.
You have to know that your sphincter can greatly expand and pass larger stool circumferences.
The problem with your sphincter is not “the stretching capacity.” The real problem is with “failure to relax.”
- Start imagining: the truth is that if you start to relax your sphincter muscle progressively, you will pass the hard poop almost without pain.
The moment when your brain starts realizing that “relaxation” will help to avoid pain is the first step to getting rid of the too-hard poop without pain.
- Slowly and gently push: obviously, we are not in a yoga class; we need the poop out. So, after you feel relaxed, start a gentle puss while maintaining a relaxed state.
- When the pain starts to increase, RELAX MORE: at a point of the slow pushing, you’ll start feeling pain.
When you reach the point of intolerance to pain, hold the pushing. Don’t try to push back the poop up again. Instead, focus on breathing and relaxation more.
- Proceed: start gently pushing down again after getting comfortable and relaxed. Usually, passing the first part is the hardest, then it will come easy.
Conscious relaxation of your pelvic floor muscles will help you get the hard poop out and prevent serious events such as fissures, hemorrhoids, or prolapse.
Remember, fear of pain is your worst enemy. Fear will result in nothing but more spasm and more pain.
Remedy 2: Use your gloved finger.
Sometimes, the hard stool is just too hard. Then, the trapped stool turns into a solid and very hard mass that can be impossible to pass.
Whether you are having chronic constipation or a recent constipation attack, this can occur.
So, it may be a proper time to get help from your gloved fingers.
Using your fingers can help you with:
- Relaxation of your sphincters. inserting your “lubricated, gloved finger” with circular motions inside your anal canal can help relax the sphincters
- Lubrication: Use your finger to introduce a lubricant lube, gel, or oil. This helps easier passage of the hard poop.
- Manual disimpaction of the hard poop mass.
And here is EXACTLY how you can disimpact the too hard poop manually:
- Use a powder-free latex glove, Plus any lube or gel.
- Put some lube or gel on your gloved “index finger.”
- Sit on the toilet in a squatting position or use a footstool.
- Start relaxing and deep breathing to help relax your anal canal.
- Next, insert your index finger (with lube) into your anal canal slowly and start a circular motion to relax your sphincters.
- Slowly progress until you feel the hard poop mass.
- Try to assess its size and how hard is it? If it’s too hard to be broken down by your finger, call for medical help.
- If you can break it down with your finger and get the small fragments out, continue to do this until your rectum is empty.
- Use a spooning motion by flexing your finger inside your anal canal and the rectum to help it break down and push out your poop.
CAUTION: Never use Hard objects such as a small spoon or anything similar to dis-impact stools. This may cause serious harm or injury to your rectum and anal canal.
Remedy 3: Try an enema (saline enema or mineral oil enema/oral PEG combination).
Mineral oil enemas are by far the most effective type of enema for hard stools or stool impaction. And this is because (ref):
- Has a laxative effect
- Softens the hard poop and prevents water from sealing in.
- Has a Lubricant effect.
- Safe, but using it for more than one week is not recommended.
And here is how you can use the combination of mineral oil enema and the oral PolyEtheylineGlycol (PEG):
- Lie down on your left side with your knees bent.
- Remove the cap from the enema applicator tip.
- Insert the tip slowly into your rectum and squeeze the bottle to empty all the contents.
- Wait for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Whenever you feel the urge to poop, try to relax your sphincters using instructions in step #2.
- Also, you can use your finger to break down the poop pre-softened with the mineral oil enema.
- Once you feel initial relief (passing the initial hardest part of the poop), you can now use oral PEG (don’t use oral PEG from the start or with failure of the mineral oil enema.
- Don’t use mineral oil enemas if you have intense abdominal pain, vomiting, or fever.
- If the mineral oil enema fails to bring the hard poop out, it’s time to ask for medical help.
When to see a doctor for a big hard-to-pass poop?
If you encounter any of the below symptoms or signs, please ask for help from your doctor. This is especially important if you are older than 65:
- Failure of the above measures to pass the too-hard poop out.
- Signs of intestinal obstruction: such as distension or bloating, abdominal pain, nausea, or vomiting.
- Signs of dehydration: such as extreme thirst, too fast breathing, too-fast heartbeats, dizziness, confusion, or sweating.
- Low blood pressure.
- Any serious medical illnesses: such as cancers or brain stroke associated with constipation.
What to expect at the Emergency Room (ER):
- Your doctor will take a brief history to assess the cause, the complications, and possible complications.
- Your doctor will perform a physical examination to assess your vital signs and abdomen, and he may perform a local examination by inserting his gloved fingers.
- You may be asked for some investigations, such as an abdominal radiograph.
- your doctor May perform a trial of fecal dis-impaction: using lubricant gel and gloved fingers
- Some centers have a dis-impaction tool that helps injection of water into the hard poop. Also, this tool (video below) helps break down the hard poop mass.
- If the above fails, your doctor may perform a colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy to help relieve fecal impaction.
- You may need surgery under general anesthesia in severe cases with too large and hard poop masses in the rectum.
The long Term Relief: Revisit your Constipation.
After relieving the hard poop, your priority is to figure out why this happened and put a plan to regain your colon health.
We will release an ultimate guide on relieving constipation and preventing further stool impaction.