It’s a question we’ve all pondered at one point or another (usually, T minus 10 mins after downing a morning cuppa): 'Are my pooping habits normal?'
Well, relax your sphincter and wonder no more ppl. Because Gastroenterologist Katie Ellard from the Gastroenterological Society of Australia (GESA) is here to sort those plumbing probs, once and for all.
Speaking to Men’s Health, Ellard says the ‘Goldilocks zone’ is between 3 and 21 times per week.
“It’s normal to go to the bathroom between three times a day and three times a week, but people really vary,” she said. In other words, your juuuuuust right could mean releasing the chocolate hostage after every meal or just a handful of times throughout the week. Either way is totally OK – as long as you’re comfortable.
“If people go three times a week but they’re really bloated and uncomfortable, and the bowel motion’s really hard by the third day, then that’s not good for quality of life and that circumstance will make them look to go more often.” But on the other hand, Ellard explains that if when they go, “it’s easy, they don’t have to strain, the motions’ quite soft, that’s absolutely fine.”
Put simply, the frequency you have to drop off the kids off at the pool is determined by a bunch of factors, like your diet, rectal capacity, gut microbiome and ‘intrinsic motor activity.’
Bottom line? …Pardon the pun.
There’s no need for concern unless you’re hitting up the porcelain throne a lot more often than usual (or the total opposite).
“You look for changes in bowl habits like if someone normally went every day or every second day and all of a sudden don’t go for a couple of weeks, then you’d be thinking about what’s going on,” Ellard adds.