Signs of Constipation

Constipation is likely if you have:

  • Fewer than three bowel movements a week
  • Hard, dry or lumpy stools
  • To strain or are in pain when you have a poo
  • A feeling that not all the stool has passed

You may also have a temporary stomach ache, feel bloated or be sick.

Constipation is not a disease, but could be a symptom of another medical problem. It can last for a short or long time.

Constipation is one of the most common symptoms of people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS1.) It can alternate with normal bowel habits or diarrhea1, and can be accompanied by symptoms of abdominal pain, bloating, and gas.


  1. Wilkins T, Pepitone C, Alex B, Schade RR. Diagnosis and management of IBS in adults. Am Fam Physician. 2012;86:419-426. 
  2. Heidelbaugh JJ, Stelwagon M, Miller SA, Shea EP, Chey WD. The spectrum of constipation-predominant irritable bowel syndrome and chronic idiopathic constipation: US survey assessing symptoms, care seeking, and disease burden. Am J Gastroenterol. 2015 Apr;110(4):580-7.  DOI: 10.1038/ajg.2015.67

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