Can Sex Toys Relieve Constipation?
The morning greets you with a discomforting sensation in your stomach. Perhaps it's a result of indulging in fast food the previous day or spending prolonged periods in bed, binge-watching your favorite shows.
Constipation is a common issue that many of us have encountered. It is one of the most prevalent digestive problems, typically occurring acutely and resolving relatively quickly. While it may not be life-threatening, the relief that comes with its resolution can brighten up your entire day. However, if constipation becomes more frequent or develops into a chronic condition, it can become a literal pain in the bottom, causing significant discomfort.
WHAT IS CONSTIPATION?
Constipation is a prevalent issue that affects nearly 2.5 million individuals in the United States, with similar statistics observed in many developed countries worldwide. Despite its widespread occurrence, defining constipation accurately can be challenging. According to certain diagnostic criteria, functional constipation is characterized by persistent difficulties in having regular, proper, or complete bowel movements. In other words, you can be considered constipated if you do not pass stool regularly. Additionally, experiencing pain or discomfort during bowel movements, regardless of frequency, can also indicate a problem with constipation.
Detecting the exact cause of constipation can be challenging due to the variation in symptoms from one case to another. In essence, if constipation is not a symptom of an underlying condition, it is considered a functional disorder with unclear origins. Furthermore, if constipation is not accompanied by bleeding, fever, weight loss, or anemia, it is likely to resolve on its own without causing significant health complications.
However, it is important to note that in certain cases, constipation can be caused by a blockage in the intestines. When this occurs, immediate medical or surgical intervention may be necessary to address the obstruction. Therefore, it is crucial to be vigilant and recognize both obvious and hidden symptoms of constipation in order to prevent complications and address the issue effectively.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
When considering constipation statistics, it is generally observed that most individuals have bowel movements at least three times per week. If you have fewer bowel movements than this, it may indicate constipation. However, it is not solely about the frequency of bowel movements. Factors such as quality, consistency, required effort, and accompanying discomfort also play a role in determining if constipation is present.
Bowel habits can vary greatly among individuals. Some people have no trouble with a weekly bowel movement, while others may feel discomfort even with daily bowel movements. If your stool is excessively hard and dry, or if you experience difficulty or pain during defecation, it may indicate a problem with constipation.
In some cases, individuals may experience a sense of incomplete evacuation or a feeling of rectal blockage. Even after having a bowel movement, they may feel bloated or full. Additionally, constipation is often accompanied by abdominal pain or cramps, and in certain instances, it can lead to nausea and loss of appetite. Experiencing any of these symptoms may indicate an issue with your digestive system.
CAN SEX TOYS HELP?
Certain studies suggest that the use of sex toys, particularly anal toys, may have a beneficial effect on constipation.
For instance, individuals online have shared their experiences of feeling the urge to have a bowel movement shortly after inserting butt plugs. When faced with constipation, they decided to try using this specific toy to stimulate the process. While one user speculated that the insertion of a foreign object triggered the urge, it is more plausible that the lubricants used facilitated the passage, similar to the function of suppositories.
The potential positive impact of anal toys on constipation may not be coincidental. Originally, butt plugs were designed and marketed as rectal dilators. These devices were intended to relax and open the anal sphincter and rectum for medical examinations or to relieve constipation. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, stores in the United States sold anal dilators as therapeutic devices that claimed to address various digestive issues. However, during the 1940s, the FDA deemed them risky when used as instructed on the label.
However, these previously used constipation butt plugs have now found a place in the sex toy industry, serving a slightly different therapeutic purpose. Whether they can effectively alleviate constipation is subjective and dependent on individual experiences and, to be frank, rectal sensitivity.
While it may seem unrelated, an interesting anecdote comes to mind when considering the medical application of sex aids. Researchers have recently demonstrated the beneficial effects of sex toys by using dildos to massage the tummies of constipated tortoises, resulting in successful treatment. This showcases the diverse range of applications for these devices.
In most cases, constipation can be resolved without the need for specific medical treatment. However, if making changes to your lifestyle and eating habits does not provide relief, it is advisable to seek medical advice. A doctor will inquire about your symptoms and medical history and conduct a preliminary physical examination to rule out or identify any underlying conditions. They may also request additional physical and laboratory tests to determine the exact cause of your issue. One such test is a marker study, which evaluates the movement of food through the intestines. Other procedures such as enema x-rays and colonoscopy may be utilized to examine the colon.
After reviewing the available information, the doctor will recommend an appropriate treatment plan for constipation. Potential solutions may involve the use of medications such as laxatives or suppositories. If medication proves ineffective, the doctor may suggest an enema or therapy to address slow muscle function. In more severe cases, if deemed necessary, the doctor may manually or surgically remove the stool or blockage.
It is important to note that using laxatives or suppositories without consulting a physician is not recommended. While they may provide temporary relief for symptoms, it is crucial to follow the instructions on the label when using them. The same applies to alternative remedies like acupuncture, massage, and herbal treatments. While some studies have suggested their potential effectiveness in treating constipation, the evidence is not sufficient to confirm their benefits. Therefore, it is always advisable to consult with your doctor before attempting any of these methods on your own.
ADVICE AND TIPS
The first tip to address constipation is to be mindful of your diet. A well-balanced and fiber-rich diet is key to preventing this bothersome issue. This entails consuming more fiber and increasing fluid intake while reducing the consumption of processed foods, meat, and dairy products. While some individuals may find coffee to be their preferred laxative, it is advisable to avoid caffeine and alcohol as they can contribute to dehydration.
While it is important to exercise caution when self-medicating, there is no harm in trying some home remedies that have no known side effects. For example, drinking a glass of warm liquid, preferably water, in the morning or consuming prunes (dried plums) can have a beneficial effect on digestion. Numerous studies suggest that the use of probiotics can aid in the treatment of constipation. Probiotics can be taken as supplements or found in beverages like yogurt and kefir.
Some individuals may find comfort in using anal douches or enemas to assist with alleviating constipation. These simple devices enable the "cleansing" of the colon by flushing it out with water.
The second equally important aspect of addressing constipation is to engage in regular physical activity. It is generally recommended to incorporate at least thirty minutes of mild exercise into your routine, at least five times a week. You have the freedom to choose any form of physical activity, as long as you are actively moving to promote better bowel movements.
Lastly, it is essential to improve your toilet habits. Learn to relax and allow yourself ample time when using the restroom. Avoid delaying when you feel the urge to go. If you have experienced constipation before, you are likely aware of the importance of not ignoring these signals from your body.