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    Being constipated means your bowel movements are tough or happen less often than normal. Almost everyone goes through it at some point.

    Constipation Causes and Remedies How many times a week should you poop? Move through a few facts about constipation. 45 National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: "Eating, Diet, & Nutrition for Constipation," "What is Constipation?"<br> University of California, San Francisco: "Constipation."<br> National Cancer Institute: "Gastrointestinal Complications."<br> Pond5.<br> AudioJungle. /delivery/c0/b3/c0b35659-b499-458b-8057-83e27ab0628a/basics-constipation_,750k,400k,1000k,2500k,4500k,.mp4 11/16/2017 10:01:00 AM 650 350 toliet /webmd/consumer_assets/site_images/article_thumbnails/video/basics_constipation_video/650x350_basics_constipation_video.jpg 091e9c5e81858820

    Although it’s not usually serious, you'll feel much better when your body is back on track.

    The normal length of time between bowel movements varies widely from person to person. Some people have them three times a day. Others have them just a few times a week.

    Going longer than 3 or more days without one, though, is usually too long. After 3 days, your poop gets harder and more difficult to pass.

    What Are the Symptoms?

    You may have:

    • Few bowel movements
    • Trouble having a bowel movement (straining to go)
    • Hard or small stools
    • A sense that everything didn’t come out
    • Belly bloating

    You also may feel like you need help to empty your bowels, such as pressing on your belly or using a finger to remove stool from your bottom.

    Why Does It Happen?

    Some causes of constipation include:

    What Should I Do If I Am Constipated?

    Take these steps:

    • Drink two to four extra glasses of water a day, unless your doctor told you to limit fluids for another reason.
    • Try warm liquids, especially in the morning.
    • Add fruits and vegetables to your diet.
    • Eat prunes and bran cereal.
    • Exercise most days of the week. When you move your body, the muscles in your intestines are more active, too.
    • Don’t ignore the urge to poop.

    Woman holding a plate of fruit salad

    You can try taking a laxative, too. There are several types of laxatives, and you can buy many of them over the counter. Each of them works in a different way to ease constipation. Ask your doctor or pharmacist which kind might work for you and how long you should take it.