What Happens If You Don’t Poop?

It is the universal truth, though some may find it embarrassing to even say the word, pooping is a natural phenomenon and a good, regular poop daily is an indication of good health. However, in some cases, the urge to poop can occur at some inopportune moments and this urge is something which is difficult to control as we cannot order to poop. Few examples are: you may be on a hot date or in the middle of an important meeting or at a party etc., where in such cases, what one does is they try to hold the poop in and suppress that urge and think of going later when the timing and the situation is more convenient. So, you hold it in, but do you know what happens if you don’t poop?

What Happens If You Don't Poop?

What is Poop Anyway?

In simple terms, poop is nothing, but a combination of bacteria and waste material that are excreted from the body as a result of our body’s digestive process. After consuming a meal, it takes about around 50 hours for the body to do its thing and push that pepperoni pizza from your mouth via your digestive system and out to the other end, i.e. anus. When the digested food finally concludes its journey in the rectum, the rectal walls get stretched, and this sends a signal to the brain that it is time to poop.

What Happens If You Don’t Poop?

Suppressing your urge to poop and holding it in once in a while is fine, however, this should not become a regular habit, as holding your poop and not going when you have to, leads to unnecessary constipation, as poop returns back to your colon where more water gets absorbed from it, leading to the stool becoming harder. All these factors can potentially cause damage to the colon due to the strain and effort required for expelling the poop when the next urge for bowel movement comes. When you do not pass your poop and hold it in, then it leads to distended bowels and more problems with the normal/natural process of pooping in the future. One more unpleasant consequence is that when you get the urge to poop, the rectal muscles stretch and send a signal to the brain to go, but when you hold the poop, then they send the signal to stop responding to the urge to go and this can lead to slower emptying of the colon when it’s time to go. While it is not harmful to suppress the urge and hold your poop on a rare occasion, however, it definitely should not become a habit.

Does Pooping Have a Pattern?

Each and every one of us has a different pooping frequency and schedule. Some of us poop daily, some more than once a day and some once every couple of days. The thing of importance here is that your body is more or less on a regular schedule and when you get the urge to poop, then it is best that you “listen to your body” and stick to your daily schedule of pooping. However, for some reason, if you’ve to hold your poop in, then what happens? Your poop or feces return back to the colon, where there is more absorption of water and the poop is stored for the next time when you need to go. And this is where trouble begins.

Why the Name “Poop?

The word “poop” is derived from the Middle English word “popen” or “poupen,” which originally meant “fart.” The name “poop” was based upon the sound of the fart. The “poop” word came into its current meaning of “defecation,” “bowel movement,” “passing stool,” around 1900.

What is the Difference Between Holding in Poop and Holding in your Farts?

Now we have talked about holding our poop, now let’s talk about holding farts. Though all this talk of poop and farts can be disgusting/embarrassing/funny to some, but everyone is curious about the whole phenomena, which we have mentioned and though they may deny it, many people do wonder what happens when you don’t poop. So, it is important to address these issues. Holding in a fart is also not harmful, as it is the air which needs to be released; however, one should remember that while holding in fart, there is pressure building or accumulating inside our body and it also gives an uncomfortable feeling.

To Poop or Not to Poop: CONCLUSION

Only when it is absolutely necessary you should fight the urge to defecate, otherwise it is advisable to not go against the nature and avoid holding bowel movements at all times. So, the conclusion here is that it is always best to poop and fart whenever you have to and as often as you need to.

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:April 1, 2017

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