Peristeen failure?


I’m almost ready to give up on Peristeen and wondered who else has failed and/or whether there’s some other way of using it effectively.

I’ve mostly got the hang of inserting the catheter now, and using it seems ok. But expelling the water is problematic and, more troublesome, it’s just not working. I’m finding that even if I do it every day (and I have been), I am not clearing the bowel of poo - basically I’m still constipated.

Can anyone tell me how you know when all the water etc has come out if you can’t feel it? Plus, with the problem being that the external sphincter will not relax sufficiently, ultimately the water will come out but there’s no way for the solid matter to come out. So how do you make it work? Or is it impossible?

So has anyone else managed to overcome similar problems?

Thanks for your help (hopefully)


hiya sue

i used peristeen successfully until i became too poorly to manage it-as u know u need 2 able hands!

i tried movicol recently-horrendous stuff-i was constantly soiling-yuk for everybody!

gp is brill fortunately and i currently manage with castor oil, diet and senna. it did take several attempts to get it right and u do have to drink ample water.

is ur gp willing to listen/discuss?

take care, ellie

Hi Sue,

i tried and failed with this system.

my continence nurse tells me that there is a newer easier system. Sorry but I cannot remember the name.

Min x

Thanks for the replies. I don’t have a great GP any more (she emigrated to Australia and I still miss her!) so not sure what the response would be to any requested assistance. Today I looked at all the videos again and think I’ll have one last go of trying to make the Peristeen work, till the end of the week anyway. I’m wondering if I’m being too impatient, maybe I have to learn a little patience. If I have to give up I’ll be investigating other options like maybe castor oil, Senna, etc.


Sue I’m sorry if this is a silly question but didn’t you try Senna or castor oil before resorting to the Peristeen? I’ve been struggling for a few years now, I tried Movicol a couple of weeks ago and that’s working great for me.

Jan x

I tried Senna, other laxatives, glycerol suppositories, and I’ve been taking movicol for years. Movicol has stopped being very effective for me over the last year or so. The only thing I’d not tried is castor oil, so it’s that in combination with Senna, etc, etc that I reckon I’ll have a go with if I can’t get Peristeen working!

all the old remedies are fantastic.

i used to be given a spoonful of syrup of figs, liquid parrafin (yes i know - what?), cod liver oil, rose hip syrup, milk of magnesia.

i was regular if nothing else.

golden linseeds are another highly recommended for this issue.

carole x

The Golden Linseeds - toasted and sprinkled on your food works well. A bowl of chopped up dried fruit - figs/prunes/dates/apricots with Greek yoghurt [for pro-biotics] honey and sprinkled with the linseeds will soon help get you going.

Have you thought your bowel might be impacted - if so perhaps colonic irrigation would clear you out - its a bit more radical then the Peristeen. But once completely cleared your bowels might respond better. l find hi-fibre food like branflakes -allbran can do the opposite and bung you up - it can set like concrete.

Before going to hospital for the [camera up your b*m] l was given Picolax to take. l had to camp out on the loo - l think l lost a stone in weight.


i went the peristeen route cos it was ‘just water’ and was wary of meds cos it becomes a vicious circle!

however since the choice has been taken away from me then i have worked hard at trying from the top end and what goes in!

all the stuff that others have said are good suggestions.

*look away now if u dont like ‘detail’!!!

i always thought that when u need to sh*t it would be automatic and muscles would take over. how wrong was i?! i have actually had ‘it’ stuck in bum several times and its not pleasant! cos i cant feel pain it wasnt sore but i was aware of my body struggling with the whole episode.

so hence back to basics and water, lentils, porridge etc and spending time (?!) to get to know my bowel. then folk ask me what do i do all day?! i just keep schtum!

hope it works out for u sue and find your way.