Constipation is a short term or long term condition in which stools pass less often than usual or are hard, dry and painful or difficult to pass. Bowel habits vary, but an adult is considered constipation if they have not passed stools for three days or for a child for four days.
According to the NHS choices website, it’s estimated that around one in every seven adults and up to one in every three children in the UK has constipation at any one time. The condition affects twice as many women as men and is also more common in older adults and during pregnancy.
The caused of constipation can occur because of a poor or change in diet, lack of exercise, not enough water and ignoring the urge to go to the toilet. It can also be the result of certain medication. In children a fear of going to the toilet can be a common cause.