Feeling Congested? Constipated? Find out more

Constipation is a very uncomfortable condition that can seriously interfere with our ability to enjoy our lives.

It results when, for one reason or another, a person's digestive system does not function as it should.

It's important to remember that it is not necessary to move your bowels once every day.

Some healthy people need to move their bowels only three times a week; others move their bowels a number of times a day.

In a constipated colon, the normal muscle action fails to work properly. This means that the peristaltic motion stops temporarily, or works very slowly.

There are a number of possible causes for this problem. Some causes are related to age and gender.

Different people experience constipation in different ways. It's important to understand the nature of the constipation you suffer, so that you can choose the solution that's best for you.

Anyone who has ever suffered from constipation knows how it can interfere with daily life and even impact upon your quality of life. It can make you feel uncomfortable and bloated and can effect your emotional life.

Some common Q&As about constipation:

1. What are some of the characteristics of constipation?

Painful, difficult bowel movements and feeling gassy or bloated are well-known characteristics of constipation. Other signs include hard, dry stools or excessive straining to have a bowel movement.

It's important to keep in mind that infrequent bowel movements alone do not necessarily indicate constipation. In medical terms, constipation is diagnosed when a patient has fewer than three bowel movements a week, and/or stools are hard and dry.

2. What causes constipation?

Constipation occurs when the normal muscle actions in the colon (large intestine), fail to work properly, meaning the contents cannot be eliminated normally.

The causes of constipation are complex and for most people with long-standing constipation there is no identifiable cause. Recent review of available evidence has shown many previously held beliefs as to the causes of constipation are unfounded. However, they may include some of the following:

• Certain diseases • Certain medications • Changes in routine, such as holidays or travel • Change in metabolism • Suppressing the urge to go to the bathroom • Hormonal changes; pregnancy • Recovery from surgery • In some cases, not getting enough exercise.

I have constipation. What do I do?

Laxatives are one of the clinically proven options to provide effective relief from constipation.

Dulcolax® is one of the world's most trusted laxatives, offering millions of constipation sufferers around the world gentle, yet effective overnight relief from constipation by stimulating the natural movement of the bowels.

If you find that your problem with constipation keeps returning, or is accompanied by other symptoms such as painful cramps or traces of blood on your stools, you should consult your healthcare professional immediately.

How do Dulcolax tablets work?

Each small tablet contains a precisely-measured amount of the active ingredient, Bisacodyl.

This ensures that Dulcolax tablets are particularly predictable and reliable.

Six to 12 hours after taking an individual dose, Dulcolax® laxatives stimulate the colon's muscles to contract and, thereby, push the colon's contents along. They also help ease elimination by accumulating water to soften the colon's contents.

Dulcolax tablet 30s and 200s are available at leading retail pharmacies at $5.30 and $27 respectively.