How bad is it to hold in your poopoo? Find out!

Problems of holding your poopoo

It’s an undeniable fact of life that everyone poops. But let’s be real, going at the office or at bae’s can be super awkward. This prompts many of us to develop some odd holding patterns. Ignoring an urge to have a bowel movement for a short time won’t cause harm. But holding in your poopoo when you gotta go is not only uncomfortable, it can also be unhealthy.

Quite a lot of people prefer to wait until they’re in the familiar and comfortable surroundings of their own home to poopoo. Many are willing to spend hours delaying the urge to answer that call of nature. But delaying a poopoo could be far more dangerous than you think.

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To summarize everything, your poopoo is a combination of waste material and bacteria, as a result of your body’s digestive process. After you eat, it takes your body some hours for it to do its work. This pushes the food from your mouth through your digestive tract and out the other end. When the digested food finally reaches the end, the rectal walls are stretched and that sends a complex signal to the brain that it’s “go-time.”

If you hold it in over and over, there may be unintended consequences. This could make you a lot more miserable than the embarrassment you feel when you have to use a public restroom.

What you need to know about holding your poopoo

Everyone’s schedule and frequency are going to differ. Some go a few times a day or once every couple of days. The important thing is that you’re on a more or less regular schedule. So, when you’ve got to go, it’s best that you “listen to your body.” But if you’ve got to hold it in for whatever reason, the faeces returns to your colon, where more water is absorbed and stored until the next time you do need to go. And that’s where you can get into some deep sh*t.

Abdominal discomfort

Its really hard to hold your poop in. You have to tighten your anus very well. In the first few hours, you’ll feel a sense of abdominal pressure. Some people describe it as abdominal cramping, whereas some people have more urgency. In other words, holding it is a fast track to that gassy, bloated feeling you can’t seem to shake.

Holding your poopoo can cause constipation

Keeping in your poop can lead to unnecessary constipation. This is because the longer you hold the stool in your colon, the more water is absorbed. Due to this it becomes harder. Those factors could potentially cause colon damage due to the effort and strain of expelling it later on.


Your body will eventually start to impact your poop. This is not good. Furthermore, at this point, you might actually loose the urgency to go but that’s not because your poop has magically disappeared instead, you’re just becoming constipated.

Abdominal distension

At this point, you may actually start to notice a distended belly. The pressure builds until you can’t hold your stomach flat even if you try. As the stool gets harder in your colon, your chances for an uncomfortable trip to the bathroom exists. You may experience straining, bleeding, and even small tears.

My advice

There are few understandable reasons to legitimately fight the urge to defecate, but in all other cases, you should avoid holding bowel movements when possible. Use the washroom when your body signals you. If you can’t get to a bathroom right away, definitely make it a priority in the first few hours.

About felclinic 593 Articles
Felix Ntifo is a Registered General Nurse who has so much passion to improve health care delivery. He founded FelClinic with the hope of making health information accessible to everyone who may not come in contact with him personally. "At we are very passionate about health and well-being of everyone. Our team is made up of professional doctors, nurses, midwives and lab technicians."

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