Constipation, bleeding bum, falling over (not for those with delicate constitutions - sorry)

So this morning, I really felt like I needed to poo, when I had just got dressed. I went and sat on the loo and tried and tried. I could feel the poo, just peeking out but it wouldn’t come. I gave up and hobbled downstairs. I was wearing a big thick pad because I wet myself twice yesterday. When I got near the loo on the ground floor I could feel that poo - it really felt like it was coming out as I was walking. So I went and sat on the downstairs loo. Still no joy. I got up and went to make my breakfast - porridge, 2 minutes 10 seconds in the microwave. But I was so uncomfortable with that poo feeling like it was peeking out (and hurting where it was peeking) that I had to go and sit on the loo for a third time. Still no banana (so to speak). But by the time I had eaten my porridge, it was finally ready to come. It hurt as it came and felt big, but it probably wasn’t (went straight round the bend so I couldn’t see much of it). When I wiped my bum there was quite a lot of fresh blood. Yuck. I assume having the poo sit where it shouldn’t have been, poking out, for so long tore something up there. Doesn’t hurt now and no more blood when I went for a wee a few hours later (today I’m weeing every few hours - yesterday it felt like I was going every 45 minutes).

Then, 45 minutes ago, I tried to do my balance exercise - that is, standing in the corner with my feet as close together as I can manage, for 15 minutes. I try and do this every day but yesterday was too hectic for me to fit it in. When I did it on Monday, I fell over after 13 minutes. Today I fell over after 7 minutes. It’s very hard for me to get up when I fall. Maybe I’ll get my husband to put up a grab handle near where I do my exercise.

I am in a sorry state.

You poor little chick. I understand the feeling. Constipation is so awful and that feeling of a full rectum without being able to push it out is terrible. I wouldn’t worry too much about the blood, unless it continues to bleed that is.

Have you tried glycerol suppositories? Basically you push one of these up the rectum, they melt and it gives the poo a bit of slippiness to come out. They’re a bit tricky to get in because you have to wet one end to get it to slide in and they sometimes jump out of your fingers, but they don’t cost much so using a few isn’t a major deal. You can buy them from the chemist.

When I started to use these (in addition to movicol etc etc), I found that often the action of just pushing one in was enough to get the poo moving!! Ultimately, (this is years later!) I mostly can’t poo at all without digital stimulation, ie. a lubricated finger to make the poo move.

And yes, it sounds like a grab bar would help when you’re standing in the naughty corner!!

Sue x

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Oh heck, I am also very knowledgeable about the woes of bowels behaving badly! I cant always tell if I want to go or not and when pushing (not hard as I cant) I often get a bladder spasm and that mixes the feelings up totally!

I cant hold a suppository in at all!

Laxido and prune juice help me go. But I go through phases of going twice a day and then suddenly it stops for 3 days or so, that`s when I take extra laxido. But if I am going out, I panic…incase…,

Now about those exercises…why try to stand with your feet close together? It`s not as if you ever need to be in that position. I think just having your feet a few inches apart, will still help your balance.

It`s not worth pushing yourself to do something which will always end in you falling over…and then having great difficulty getting back up.

No need to apologise for anything, not to us here, we get you completely!


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sorry to hear these familiar issues. When I had similar issues and massive “urgency” problems I spoke with my legendary MS nurse who explained a bit about the signalling and feed back systems involved in bowel and urinary mechanics. She got me (despite being a repressed prude) to look into Peristeen, essentially a self administered enema. Not half as bad as it sounds. I can now “prompt” my bowels which massively improves my life, I can go out safe in the knowledge, that I should not struggle with either urgency or constipation.

As for balance, this is another crappy problem, all I can do is try to be extra careful and plan hand holds on doorframes and solid furniture.

Fingers crossed you feel a bit better soon.


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I once met a woman with MS, who said she wall walked…i get that, as I used to do the same.


Thank you all for sympathy, advice and showing me I’m not the only one dealing with this stuff. My first experience with this kind of bowel ‘hesitation’. I think I will order some glycerol suppositories in case it happens again and see how I go from there.

I’m so glad I read this - was trying to compose something similar myself. Thanks Sewingchick for finding the words. This happens to me when I’m having a ‘dip’, or warming up to a relapse, and it drives memad. It’s a horrible feeling - you think you need to go, you try knowing there’s something there, and nothing happens - I’m not constipated - I eat the right stuff - and the stools are always soft when they finally appear. I think there’s an inner muscle that’s supposed to push, or one that isn’t relaxing properly. I try to wait but it has a mind of its own and then its a big rush… This really offends me be because I was always happy with how regular I was!! Silly to be privately proud of going to the loo at the same time every morning…

I need to talk to nurses about it - really helpful to read everyone’s experiences and suggestions.



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i was thinking about this thread today because i woke up knowing that i needed a bowel movement but nothing happened.

this was 3.00 am and i didnt want to go back to bed so i came downstairs and sat drinking very strong coffee and watching catch up tv.

i finally managed to poo at 4.00 pm.

i could really have done with an afternoon nap but i was full of strong coffee!

ms totally faffs everything up!

good job we have each other!

carole x

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Hi Becca

Your thinking about the faulty mechanism is right. We have an inner and an outer sphincter; when there’s a poo released from the bowel to the rectum, one has to relax while the other squeezes. And hey presto, beautiful poo hits the loo. But when your either having a relapse (so hopefully temporary) or when you just have too much damage (therefore permanent) to the nerves that control one or the other there is a problem. You end up either not being able to relax the outer sphincter (which sounds like what you and Sewingchick have experienced) therefore making you constipated, or unable to push with the other sphincter, also making you constipated, or of course both together. The opposite also happens of course which is why people become incontinent. A further complication happens when the poo just doesn’t move out of the bowel into the rectum, or it happens so fast you get no warning. Some people of course swing wildly from one extreme to the other. I’ve experienced years of both problems at different times (mostly the constipation type but occasional incontinence too, damned embarrassing all of it), which is why I’ve checked into the mechanisms. (If only in my non scientific bumbling way!)

Really very clever the human body. If only it would work right. The absolute best thing you can do is to try everything you can to improve your core. Ultimately, if the nerves are shot there’s not much you can do, but core weakness is also a big influence on your pooing potential.

Good luck

Sue x

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Hi Ssssue

Thanks for that :slight_smile: I think I’ve been hoping I could blame it on the meds… MS does show how amazing the human body is, without any of us knowing it until some of it goes wrong. It does seem like a healthy diet and working on a strong core is the best we can do for ourselves. It is an incredible incentive to persevere with the plank!! Though a gin and tonic is my current therapy as I absorb the concept…

All the best to you and all - we need to keep talking about this stuff!



Hi all, this thread is really interesting. Until a couple of months ago I had been doing my core strength exercises religiously. Then I started going through a feeling sorry for myself phase, not eating healthily and not doing my exercises and just lately been having bowel problems. Does anyone have this? I have noticed lately if I am desperate for a pee and want a poo at the same time the pee goes away but after about 10 minutes I am desperate again. It is really annoying when this happens at work. I get so embarrassed tootling backwards and forwards to the loo. Not to mention the fear of having an accident.

I never thought about how much the core means to your body. I never imagined in my carefree days before ms invaded my life that I would get so worked up about bodily functions.

I am sitting in my bed after having a lovely night out with my family having drank way more presecco than was good for me. I’m at the point where I’m not actually sure I can get out of bed and if my legs can move or for that matter if this post makes any sense.

Mags xx

I thought I’d update you on my bowel/bladder experiences since I wrote this on Wednesday. I had quite bad urge incontinence (starting to wee before you’re on the loo) and was also going frequently, particularly in the mornings, on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Still going through the night without getting up to go to the loo.

On Saturday evening, my husband and I were going out at 8:15 and I really wanted to empty my bladder before leaving but just couldn’t. I ended up catheterising myself. I used to have to do this every day but everything in that area got much better about two years ago and I haven’t done it since. When I did it last night, the catheter went straight in and it was so easy and great having a completely empty bladder, it made me think ‘I should do this mid-morning, every day’.

When we got home at 11:30, I felt like I needed a poo (first time since Wednesday). So I went into the downstairs loo, tried, couldn’t go - no poo or wee forth coming, even though I hadn’t weed since the catheterisation, more than three hours earlier. I went upstairs (not a speedy process for me), cleaned my teeth, tried and failed again on emptying my bowels and bladder. It wasn’t half so bad as the Wednesday experience, because the poo hadn’t made it through either sphincter, whereas on Wednesday the poo was pushing against the outer sphincter but that wouldn’t open (and that was very painful). I gave up and went into the bedroom. Halfway through getting changed my body was finally ready to poo. I made it back to the loo and finally emptied my bowels and bladder.

I did another poo this morning - still only a 1 on the Bristol Stool Scale but bigger lumps (still very painful and lots of blood following). And I did it the first time I sat on the loo. So I definitely seem to be going in the right direction. Still haven’t had a wee yet today (and it’s nearly noon). I think that’s coming though.

Needed the loo soon after I wrote this. Had such bad urge incontinence that I met my clothes even though I was wearing a thick pad. I should have catheterised mid-morning.

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Wet my clothes.

Sorry - tmi.

Fair enough tmi Sewingchick, but I think we all have to keep in mind that for many of us, it takes a lot of personal bravery to spill some very private (to us) information on here.

I for one have had bowel problems for a good 10 years but have only found it possible to openly discuss them for the last 4 or 5 years. Posting on here is an excellent start to opening up our deeply hidden private selves to our family, friends, (although hopefully not strangers at a bus stop!) etc.

We find acceptance and validation on this site by openly posting (using our user names if possible), and discovering that others have experienced similar problems, or not as the case may be.

So maybe once a person finds it possible to start asking for help with an issue and maybe gets a bit carried away, there are slightly more sensitive ways to shut that person down.

In total therefore, my feeling is that we should post as openly as we can about our bowels, bladders, sexual, ED, gastric, symptoms in fact any other issue we are facing. Don’t shut someone up because it got a bit too detailed and wasn’t as helpful.

(Btw, I am now on day 5 of steroids so am still in the speaking my mind place!)

Love Sue x


sewing chick you are a brave lady.

thanks for opening up this discussion because it is really helpful.

the anonymous poster should read the thread title (in which you gave a good warning) and if anon doesnt want to hear about it, he/she is not obliged to read it.

do you remember a 60’s sitcom Nearest and Dearest?

the character nellie pledge had a catchphrase “have you BEEN walter?”

i find myself empathising with poor walter.

carole xx

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It’s a distraction method, if I need to go and can’t I try digging my nails into the palm of my hand sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t.

SC please continue giving us the details of your bowel and bladder issues, I find it reassuring that I’m not the only one suffering this way.

Just a note on my bladder, I take Amitriptyline at around 7.30 pm and find emptying my bladder after 10.30 pm difficult Mr Google tells me they give Amitriptyline to children who wet the bed. It is a bonus as I no longer have to get up during the night to wee but not good when I have a night out as I’m up later and take on more fluids.

Jan x

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Oh and Movicol helps massively.

Jan x

These issues are difficult - thanks to everyone who’s put sympathetic comments on this thread. I’m always inclined to be very open about what’s happening to me but am definitely more sensitive to other people’s reactions on this topic than I would be on other things.