If you have ever wondered why you are unable to flush your child’s poop down the toilet, you are not alone.
Why is your child’s poop clogging the toilet?
Large stools can be difficult to flush: Children may regularly pass large poops that are difficult to flush away if they are constipated and have developed a mega rectum.
How does constipation cause large diameter stools?
Constipation can cause wide stools because when stool remains in the colon for an extended period of time, the colon absorbs more water from the stool, making it harder and drier. The longer the stool remains in the colon, the more it can accumulate in volume, leading to larger stools.
The rectum is like a balloon, the first time it is blown up, it returns back to its normal size. But if it is repetitively blown up (with frequent episodes of constipation), the rectum can stretch and become a large holding area for poops, this is known as a mega rectum. Parents are often very surprised by the size of the stool that their small child has passed.
How does a Mega Rectum cause wide stools?
When the rectum is stretched, more stool builds up in the rectum before the child can sense the urge to poop, and the poop’s can be very wide. A rectum of less than 3 cm (when measured on ultrasound) is considered normal. We frequently see children in our Pelvic Health Physio practice with a rectal diameter of more than 4cms or 5cms.
How do I know if my child has a Mega Rectum?
A mega rectum is usually diagnosed by X Ray, ultrasound or by a rectal examination by a Doctor. Noticing that your child frequently has wide stools is another way to assess wether they have a stretched rectum. I suggest that we don’t want a child’s poop to be wider than 2 and a half of your fingers. Poops that clog the toilet are usually a sign that your child has a mega rectum.
If you suspect that your child has a mega rectum that is causing poops that are larger in diameter, see your Medical Doctor or a Pelvic Health Physiotherapist trained in treating children’s constipation.