What Should My Poop Look Like?

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Question: What should my poop look like?

Answer: Your poop should look like sausages, or soft formed logs, my friends. Sasusages or soft formed logs. At the risk of offending…it should look like this:

Image of soft formed poop, surface is not cracked, so the poop resembles a medium sausage, not corn on the cob.
This is what your poop should look like: Soft formed poop (stool) looks like a sausage or a small log.

Not small, hard, rabit turds; not a massive cylinder; not loose stuff that resembles pulled pork (sorry, I ruined pulled pork for you, now haven’t I), but yes for soft formed logs.

Is My Poop Normal?

Hey, it is not glamorous, but everybody poops!

How “normally” your bowels behave is actually super important because chronically irritated bowels, as well as chronically constipated bowels, can both contribute to urinary leakage, pelvic pain and even hemmroids!

My poop doesn’t look like that…

Well, what does it look like? Here is the Bristol Stool Scale to give you some adjectives for describing your stool to your medical provider:

The Bristol Stool Scale, a series of 7 images describing what various types of poop look like.  Type 1 is the hardest (most constipated, rabbit droppings), Tyope 4 is our goal (soft log, or sausage), and Type 7 is diarhhea, or gravy. Use these terms to discuss your status with your medical provider, to try to get to Type 4.
The famous Bristol Stool Scale. What should your poop look like? Your poop should look like Type 4.

Chronically irritated (loose) or constipated (hard) poops can BOTH lead to urinary incontinence

Irritated bowels will also irritate the pelvic nerves to the bladder, heightening the irritability of the bladder, making it more reactive and more likely to forecefully contract and either leak or give you a big “urge’ to go. Chronically irritated bowels will also result in a ‘turning off’ of some of the supportive musculature of the abdomen, due to pain. So now there is even more elevated downward pressure from bladder and bowels, becuase they are pissed = increased chance of urinary leakage = 😢😭.

Constipated bottoms are usually accompanied by an inability to relax the pelvic floor and get the anal sphincter out of the way–the pelvic floor is stiff, not strong. So in this case, you often PUSH and STRAIN your abs, to force the poop out, which pushes and strains your pelvic floor as well, potentially elongating them in their already dysfunctional state–now they are stiff (not strong) and resting even longer than before. (Less upward pressure = 😢😭)

So if you are leaking urine, having urinary urgency or frequency, or persistent abdominal or low back pain, your poop habits, consistency and position are as important as your pee habits!

Is your poop not looking right?

Poop not coming out the way you want it to? Start with your hydration goals, then purposefully try to not push with your belly the next time you poop, and rather try to keep your belly relaxed and initiate the poop by gently pressing down and out from your rectum– the back of your bike seat parts! This is especially hard post baby!

If you need more clarity, check out this post on the best way to poop post-baby (but it is applicable to all of us that are constipated), as well as this post for Pelvic Floored’s Best Beginner Pelvic Floor Exercises.

Now, be on the lookout for future posts with AWESOME tips for belly massage to help reduce constipation for all ages, and many other practical poop position tips. I know, I’m excited, too 🙂 Happy pooping makes for happy people!!

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xoxo, Dr. Kelly

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What Should My Poop Look Like?
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