There’s a problem in your pants that’s big and hard. No, it’s not that. We’re talking about a colossal turd that’s somehow lodged in the chamber.
You’ve got the urge to go, but despite your squeezing, grunting, and straining, you fire blanks into the toilet bowl. Worst of all, it hurts—like squeezing a cinder block out of your butt.
We’ve all been here before, DUDE. The good news is that extra-large, rock-hard poops are temporary and can usually be coaxed out of your ass with a few home remedies. However, if you always have trouble emptying the tank, it may be the sign of an underlying health condition.
In this article we’ll explore the common causes of painful poop that’s too big to come out, and how you can soften your stool for a more enjoyable experience on the throne.
5 Reasons Your Poop Is Big and Hard to Pass
If your poop is too big to come out and hurts, constipation is the most likely culprit. Hard, dry stool requires a Herculean effort to expel from your hole.
Let’s break down all the potential causes of poop that’s hard to pass.
Constipation is the #1 cause of poop that’s too big for your butthole. Scientifically speaking, constipation occurs when your colon absorbs too much water, making your turds big, dry, and lumpy.
What causes constipation? Glad you asked:
- Not eating enough fiber
- Holding in your poop too long
- Lack of physical activity
- Older age
2. Fecal Impaction
When severe constipation goes unresolved, it can lead to fecal impaction: a medical condition where your body can’t move poop out of your rectum because it’s too big and dry.
Impacted stool causes gastrointestinal pressure from waste buildup, resulting in abdominal pain, lower back pain, fatigue, and nausea. Left untreated, it’s known to cause ulcers which can be life-threatening.
Fecal impaction is most common amongst old folks or people with underlying health issues like Alzheimer’s, Parkinsons, dementia, and colonic hypomotility (slow operation of the colon).
3. Bowel Obstruction
A bowel obstruction is when something in your intestines blocks the digestive process. The blockage can make it difficult (or impossible) to push out your poop.
Symptoms of a bowel obstruction include severe abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, inability to fart, and loud stomach noises.
There are several issues that can cause a bowel obstruction, including:
- A foreign object in your intestinal tract
- Twists or growths in the large intestine
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
4. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Healthcare professionals still aren’t sure what causes IBS, but it tends to be triggered by stress and certain foods.
Hard stool is a potential side effect of several medications. If you take any of these, don’t be surprised if you find yourself straining on the toilet the next day:
- Antacids (with calcium and aluminum)
- Calcium channel blockers
- Some antidepressants
- Parkinson’s disease medications
- Anti-seizure medications
- Medications that treat muscle spasms
How to Make Big Poop Come Out Easier
When it feels like you’re squeezing a Coke can out of your sphincter, you might be tempted to push extra hard in search of sweet relief. But this valiant effort can quickly backfire: forcing bowel movements can cause hemorrhoids, anal fissures, and rectal bleeding.
Here are three DUDE-approved tips to make hard stool easier to pass:
1. Take a Laxative or Stool Softener
One surefire way to dislodge that brick in your butt is with a laxative. You can get these over-the-counter for just a few bucks and expect to have a normal bowel movement within a few hours.
Most laxatives and stool softeners are oral capsules, but you can also take a suppository or do an enema if you're feeling frisky. Alternatively, you can try these drinks that make you poop immediately.
2. Use a Footstool
Contrary to popular belief, the standard sitting position isn’t the optimal pooping position. Ideally, you want to elevate your knees to replicate a squatting position—this gives you more leverage to encourage the poop to come out.
A small footstool gives you the leverage you need. If you don’t have one, a small box will do the trick.
3. Move Around
We know you’re not in the mood to exercise when you’ve got a dry lump of poop lodged in your rectum. But a little exercise goes a long way when it comes to breaking up stubborn stool. You don’t need to run a marathon—just take a quick stroll or crank out a few squats in your living room to jostle your intestines.
If your bowel movements don’t loosen up after a couple days, talk to a healthcare professional. They can check you out to see what’s going on and give you treatment options that are tailored to your needs.
3 Tips to Prevent Big, Hard-to-Pass Stool
If you want your bowel movements to go smoothly (literally), follow these three tips:
1. Increase Your Fiber Intake
Fiber is the not-so-secret sauce behind healthy poop. Most Americans have a fiber deficiency, but you can avoid that fate by adding these items to your grocery list:
- Whole grains: cereals, oats, breads
- Chia seeds
- Fruits: prunes, berries, apples
- Veggies: carrots, broccoli, cauliflower
- Fiber supplements
2. Drink Plenty of Water
Think of your poop like pancake batter: if there’s not enough water it gets lumpy and hard to stir. Staying hydrated is the easiest thing you can do to turn your big, dry dumps into smooth, moist turds.
Pro tip: adult DUDES need about 15 cups of water every day.
3. Stop Holding In Your Poop
Holding in your poop might not seem like a big deal if you’re stuck somewhere without a toilet in sight. But the longer you hold your dookie hostage, the more water your colon absorbs.
By the time you finally reach the bathroom, your poop will be hard, dry, and a pain in the ass to pass (literally).
In short: when nature calls, answer as soon as possible.
Don’t Add Insult to Injury
When you finish a bowel movement that rivals the birth of child, chances are your booty is gonna be extra sensitive. In these cases, it’s more important than ever to avoid toilet paper. That stuff is even dryer than the turds we’ve been talking about, not to mention it doesn’t absorb any of the fecal remnants lingering around your gooch.
Do your ass a favor and clean up with DUDE Wipes. We made ‘em extra large to combat extra large dumps and infused them with aloe and vitamin E for soothing relief.