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Constipation Specialist

The Woman’s Center

Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery located in Mesa, AZ and serving the greater Phoenix, AZ area.

Nearly everyone experiences constipation at some point in their lives. But chronic constipation that leaves you straining and feeling stopped up deserves treatment. Ryan Stratford, MD, MBA, FACOG, Kelly Kantartzis, MD, MS, FACOG, and Peter Jeppson, MD, FACOG at The Woman’s Center in the Phoenix area is here to customize a treatment plan to give you relief. You don’t have to live with constipation. Call their Mesa, Arizona, office or schedule your appointment online.



What is constipation?

Constipation occurs when your body isn’t able to pass stool regularly or easily. It’s characterized by:

  • Straining to create bowel movements
  • Feeling like you haven’t fully emptied your bowels
  • Very few (i.e., one or two) bowel movements each week
  • Feeling like you’re blocked up
  • Hard stool
  • Lumpy stool
  • Feeling bloated

Constipation affects the vast majority of people. But women over the age of 65 and women who are pregnant or just gave birth are more likely to get constipated.


What causes constipation?

A number of things can bring about constipation. In pregnant women, for example, the gut slows down its processes, which can lead to harder-to-pass stool. In general cases of constipation, the root cause is often insufficient fiber in your diet. 

As your stool moves through your colon, your body draws water out of it. If it’s dry and hard by the time it reaches your rectum, it can be difficult to pass. Fiber helps your stool maintain more of its water, softening it and easing the strain on your bowels.

Other causes of constipation include:

  • Insufficient physical activity
  • Irregular meals
  • Certain medications
  • Overuse of laxatives
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Rectal prolapse
  • Not going to the bathroom when you feel the urge to have a bowel movement
  • An issue with your colon, rectum, or intestines


When should I see a doctor about constipation?

Many cases of constipation resolve naturally. The Woman’s Center f is available to help you if:

  • You regularly experience constipation
  • Your constipation lasts more than three weeks
  • This is your first time being constipated
  • You see blood on your toilet paper
  • You’re losing weight, have a fever, or feel weak


Can constipation be treated?

Yes.  The Woman’s Center is here to develop a treatment program for you that helps regulate your body and give you more frequent, easier bowel movements. 

Some of the recommendations you might receive from The Woman’s Center are simple but impactful lifestyle changes, like listening to your body’s schedule for bowel movements, changing what you eat, and adjusting how you sit on the toilet. 

Other available treatments include:

  • Stool softeners
  • Bulk-forming fibers
  • Osmotic agents that naturally increase fluid in the stool
  • Laxatives (for occasional use only)
  • Biofeedback to look for muscular irregularities and retraining for them

Call The Woman’s Center or book your appointment online to get relief from your constipation.

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