How long does it take for an enema to work? It’s an age-old question with lots of wrong answers and incorrect information. Thankfully for anyone who’s actually interested, we cover everything from what an enema actually is to how long it takes to be effective. In this article, we’ll cover it all, so by the end if you’re confused we recommend you read through it again before contacting us. However, we’re always open to questions, so if you need something, feel free to reach out.
First of all, let’s talk about what an enema actually is. Ever heard of a laxative? Laxatives are typically taken orally and are designed to help you flush out your bowels. They help with constipation, gas, and a lot of other stomachs and intestine related problems. Enemas are like this, but they’re not administered orally. They’re administered rectally. This is the only way they can be taken. Do not take them orally. The general use for an enema is to relieve constipation, among a select few other things. Sometimes doctors or surgeons will require an enema before a specific operation. Since enemas are very strong, they’ll do some damage to your digestive system, hence the rectal route of insertion. By using the liquid in this way, you don’t damage your digestive system. If you ingest this liquid laxative orally, we recommend you visit a doctor immediately as it’s likely the medicine will do damage.
Using an enema can be quite a difficult process if done without medical advice. Be sure you reach out to your doctor so you can obtain their advice before doing one. Also, never take more than one enema in the span of 24 hours for it can actually be quite harmful. Remember, we’re talking about a really strong chemical mixture here. It’s never good to pump your body full of too much. Also, never reuse fleet enemas. Get rid of them through the appropriate means after use.
So how long will it take before the enema works? Well, each brand and type of enema is different, but the medicine should start working about five minutes after use. Generally, if the laxative doesn’t work within 30 minutes of insertion, we recommend you call your doctor just in case you experience any negative side effects. Saline enemas may dehydrate you, so be sure to drink plenty of fluids after the process is over.
Another common question we get is what you should do if nothing happens for whatever reason. If you are still unable to clear your bowels after taking an enema, you should contact your doctor right away. It’s likely that they’ll want to do some more tests to ensure that you don’t have a problem with your bowels. Definitely do not use more of this liquid laxative. If you do you could seriously harm your body. Remember, if there’s a blockage in your intestines, and the laxative is pushing against it, adding more laxative may just do damage.
Definitely, the most common question is just how long you’ll be moving your bowels for. The answer tends to differ between people, but as a rule of thumb, you’ll be on the toilet for half an hour to an hour. We definitely don’t recommend you stray far from your toilet for a little while afterward. You don’t necessarily have to take an entire day to do this, but definitely give yourself a decent portion of the time. If you end up using these a lot you’ll be able to time everything a lot better. You may even know exactly how far you can go before you need to head back to your bathroom. Do keep in mind however that the timing will always differ depending on the situation. It could depend on how long you’ve been constipated. It could depend on your diet at the time. Your mood, the time of day, how much you ate, and so much more could affect this timing. It’s definitely not uniform.
Fleet enemas are a little different than the others. Once you put it into your body, you’ll need to hold it in for at least two minutes. It’ll be tempting to let go before that two minutes is up, but in order for the medicine to do its job effectively, you need to wait. In the case that you simply cannot hold it in, chances are you didn’t need the full two minutes to get the desired effect. It’s much safer to just let go then hurt yourself by straining too hard.
A lot of people get confused as to the difference between saline enemas and bisacodyl enemas. Saline enemas are actually quite simple. All they do is add water to your intestines, which in turn promotes the movement of your bowels. When the saline enema gets water into your colon, it tends to stop cramps and pain. It will also get rid of any spasms you may be suffering from. It of course, as mentioned, promotes the movement of your bowels. Bisacodyl enemas on the other handle are more of a stimulating. Rather than slowing spasms down, it causes a controlled spasm. Rhythmic in nature, it essentially pushes your bowel movement to happen rather than suggests it. It’s generally a stronger method. Before you choose the one that benefits you most, speak to your doctor and they’ll suggest one based on your own individual situation. Remember, a lot of the time your doctor knows more about your body than you do!
For more information about enemas and everything they entail, we highly recommend you speak to a medical professional. If you experience any negative side effects or the enema simply does not work, make sure you contact your doctor. They’ll figure out what’s going on and will help you figure it out.