A enema is a procedure that consists of placing a small tube into the anus, through which you will squeeze water or some other substances to cleanse the bowel, and is usually indicated in cases of constipation to relieve the discomfort and ease out the stools.
So, a cleansing enema can be done at home in cases of obstipation to stimulate bowel function or in other cases, provided there is a medical indication. Such cleaning may also be recommended at the end of pregnancy, as pregnant women usually have a trapped bowel, such as a clister or an enema to evaluate the shape and function of the large intestine and the rectum.
However, the enema should not be taken more than once a week, as it may cause changes in the intestinal flora and cause changes in intestinal transit, worsening constipation or leading to chronic diarrhea.
How to make a enema correctly
To make a cleaning enema at home you need to buy an enema kit at the pharmacy, and follow these steps:
- Assemble the enema kit by connecting the tube to the water tank and the plastic tip;
- Fill the enema kit tank with 1 liter of filtered water at 37 ° C;
- Turn on the tap on the enema kit and allow a little water to drain until the whole tube is filled with water;
- Hang the water tank at least 90 cm from the floor;
- Lubricate the plastic tip with petroleum jelly or some intimate lubricant;
- Adopt one of these positions: lying on your side with your knees bent or lying on your back with your knees bent towards your chest;
- Gently insert the tip into the anus towards the navel, not forcing the insertion not to cause injury;
- Open the kit tap to allow water to enter the intestine;
- Hold and wait until you have a strong urge to evacuate, usually 2 to 5 minutes;
- Repeat the cleansing enema 3 to 4 times to completely clear the bowel.
In cases where the person cannot evacuate with the warm water enema alone, a good solution is to mix 1 glass of olive oil in the enema water. However, effectiveness is greatest when using 1 or 2 pharmacy enemas such as Microlax or Fleet enema mixed in water.
Still, if after mixing a pharmacy enema in the enema water the person remains unwilling to evacuate it is recommended to consult a gastroenterologist to diagnose the problem and initiate appropriate treatment. Also, it is important to have a diet that favors bowel movement, ie rich in fiber and fruits. See some laxative teas options.
When to go to the doctor
It is recommended you see a gastroenterologist or go to the emergency room when:
- There has been no stools elimination for more than 1 week;
- After mixing a pharmacy enema in the water and not wanting to evacuate;
- Signs of severe constipation appear, such as a very swollen belly or severe abdominal pain.
In these cases, the doctor will do diagnostic tests, such as magnetic resonance imaging, to assess if there are any problems that may be causing constant constipation, such as bowel torsion or hernias, for example.