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I usually have very regular, once a day, bowel movements. I hadn't had one in a couple of days, but wasn't worried, until yesterday morning when I tried to go. At first, I was able to empty some of my bowels, but I couldn't push the rest out. Last night, it felt stuck in my rectum, I tried using my finger but couldn't get any out. I took a stool softener a couple of hours ago, and I'm hoping that will work. My question is, is this constipation (or is it fecal impaction)? Especially since I do feel an urge to go, but now my rectum is too sore to really push, and it won't come out anyway. Also, do I need to see a doctor, or will it eventually come out?

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replied April 21st, 2009
Digestive and Bowel Disorders Answer A6394

According to the data you provided, you might be experiencing constipation. It is too early to say for sure whether fecal impaction has occurred.

Laxatives, increased intake of fluids, and dietary fibers are used to treat constipation. Fecal impaction is usually treated with enemas to soften the impaction and disimpaction, i.e. digital manipulation by a health practitioner. Use of stimulant laxatives may be dangerous because of the possibility of stercoral perforation.

If this does not help, visiting a doctor would be recommended to distinguish between constipation and fecal impaction.

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