Bowel movements

How Often I Should Have A Bowel Movement

Max. D Gray
By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 16, 2017
How Often I Should Have A Bowel Movement

To to stay in good health, the body needs to clean out its internal system, and this is achieved through the food we eat daily, drinking water and, of course, through the vital process of bowel movements, which should happen often and on a regular basis. However, this process works very differently for each person depending on their lifestyle. When these habits are unable to sufficiently maintain this process, bowel discharges can be difficult, leading to constipation. In this OneHowto article we answer the commonly-asked question relating to this issue: How often should I have a bowel movement? This is necessary to know in order to take care of our everyday gastrointestinal health.

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  1. Importance of daily bowel movements
  2. How often should I have a bowel movement?
  3. Factors triggering slow intestinal transit

Importance of daily bowel movements

The body needs to eliminate broken down substances that it ingests daily along with the nutrients of foods by means of bowel movements, and if this action does not happen frequently or is continuously delayed, it can be very harmful to our health. Remember that when we go for several days without having a bowl movement, stool accumulates and distorts the intestines, damaging the lining of the intestinal tract. In addition, if waste gases are not released they can cause the intestines to be much more vulnerable to bacteria attack and contamination.

How Often I Should Have A Bowel Movement - Importance of daily bowel movements

How often should I have a bowel movement?

In response to this question, how often should you have a bowel movement, experts estimate that it is normal for the body to move its bowels 2 - 3 times a day. And when this target is met it is a sign that the intestines are functioning effectively and are able to absorb nutritional substances and water, whilst at the same time getting rid of toxic substances. In addition, if the bowels move regularly, stool can be easily excreted without the smell being too strong or intense.

Older people may reduce the number of bowel movement due to medication, stretched colon and other health related factors.

Factors triggering slow intestinal transit

On the other hand, there are many people who suffer from very slow intestinal transit problems or constipation daily. And among the most common factors that slow down gut transit, are:

  • Not eating enough fibre along with too many sugars and saturated fats.
  • Not drinking enough water daily.
  • Leading a sedentary lifestyle.
  • Emotional factors such as stress, anxiety or nervousness.
  • Delaying going to the toilet when you need to.

If you suffer from constipation for prolonged periods, it is best to see your doctor to determine the exact cause and receive appropriate treatment. At OneHowTo you can take a look at some useful tips that will help you avoid constipation and relieve the pain that this causes. Read these articles:

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to How Often I Should Have A Bowel Movement, we recommend you visit our Healthy living category.


  • Having bowel movements should be totally effortless and painless, so if this is your case you may have a colorectal disorder or a stool morphology problem. If that is the case you should visit a doctor.
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How Often I Should Have A Bowel Movement