By Marissa Miller
An expert weighs in on this pressing issue
After watching a cable rerun of Knocked Up (such a classic) this weekend, we couldn’t stop thinking about that scene where Leslie Mann turns down Paul Rudd’s sex invite because she’s constipated. Seriously, is this a thing?
As it turns out, Leslie’s character wasn’t just making up excuses, says Dr. Yvonne Bohn, gynae, spokesperson for urinary health brand Cystex. “Generally speaking, when someone is constipated, the rectum and colon are full of stool because the bowel movements become very hard and difficult to pass. Behind these hard pieces of stool is gas, and this ultimately causes cramping, pain, and bloating,” she says. “If a woman is really constipated and has no bowel movement for more than three days, then having sex during this time may be very uncomfortable as the rectum sits right behind the vagina.”
Pain aside, having sex while heavily backed up can also put you at risk for infection: If there is a lot of stool in the rectum, it is possible that bacteria from the stool can travel from the anus during sex and enter the vagina or urethra, leading to a vaginal or urinary tract infection, says Bohn.
But in most cases, being backed up doesn’t mean you’ve got to go sans sex. “Abstinence is not necessary,” says Bohn.
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In fact, a little P-in-V action might actually get things moving in some cases. Bohn says if the penis puts some pressure on the posterior vaginal wall it may help expel the hard stool. For the constipated party, a hands-and-knees position will likely feel most comfortable, she says. You can also try girl on top to avoid pressure on the abdomen from being on the bottom.
But don’t rely on sex to relieve constipation entirely. Drink plenty of water and up your fibre intake to soften the stool, she says.
Oh, and in case you’re interested, do not have him enter through the backdoor while you’re clogged up. “In theory, something in the anus can stimulate a bowel movement,” says Bohn. “[But] I would not say I recommend anal sex for a relief for constipation.” There you have it.
This article was originally published on www.womenshealthmag.com