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jbmd
jbmd, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 615
Experience:  Board Certified physician in Internal Medicine - 30+ years experience
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I am 6 months pregnant and finding it hard to go to the toilet

Customer Question

I am 6 months pregnant and finding it hard to go to the toilet since Wednesday past. I have heard this is normal as your digestive system slows down. I did purchase senna tabs from Boots today - are they safe to take or what other medication can I take that will provide quick relief.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  jbmd replied 4 years ago.

jbmd :

I'm glad you're so smart and careful as to ask before trying. Senna is not associated with fetal malformations and anyway you are beyond the time of organ formation (but NOT brain maturation), however it can lead to cramps and abdominal discomfort which could lead to pain and worry and possibly uterine irritability. Osmotic (bringing fluid into the colon) and stimulant (increasing the movement of the gut) laxatives are not absorbed systemically but it is recommended only in the short term or occasional use. This not-too-often use is to avoid dehydration or electrolyte imbalances. If you haven't, try stool softeners like ducosate, prunes (eat two with each meal--no problem for baby if you're not diabetic), increasing water and exercise.

jbmd :

Any questions? I can't examine or treat you but I can give EXCELLENT advice!

JACUSTOMER-tbfd0cdb- :

Thanks for your answer, could I try lactulose?

jbmd :

You can but it is osmotic and not as gentle as ducosate. If you try it once, use a small amount and give it time to work. (Pregnancy is a tough time! Your body changes so much it's like it belongs to someone else. Good luck.) Really, eat prunes (they can be softened in hot water with lemon for taste, too) daily as long as you don't get diarrhea. You might get flatulence (farting) and gas with lactulose and other osmotics.

jbmd :

You are not having any abdominal pain, are you? Or tenderness to touch?

JACUSTOMER-tbfd0cdb- :

Okay thanks for the advice. Is ducosate also called dulcoease? I was going to buy this instead of the senna but it said on the packet not to take in pregnancy. So you think it is safe to take? No I havent had any abdominal pain or tenderness

jbmd :

Most medications over the counter will say don't take in pregnancy. I took the time to look up a site for constipation in pregnancy, the Canadian National Health Service one: http://www.cfp.ca/content/58/8/836.full It agrees with what I said. However, you can keep asking me questions.

jbmd :

Ducoease is ducosate--a brand name.

JACUSTOMER-tbfd0cdb- :

Thats great, many thanks

jbmd :

You're welcome!

jbmd :

Please rate the response so it closes. Thanks and visit here again when you have a question!

jbmd :

Happy pregnancy and easy delivery.