• Exercise
  • Food
  • Wellbeing
  • Health Check
  • Health Insights
  • Healthy Living
  • Body
  • Food
  • Mind
  • Health Guide
  • Healthcare
  • Using Your Cover
  •  
     

    Poo: how often is normal?

    Medibank expert Billy Falkingham settles the score on what’s normal when it comes to moving our bowels.

    How many times a day do you poo? While most people assume you should move your bowels once a day, studies show this isn’t necessarily the case. If you visit the toilet more or less often, you’re not alone — 98% of the population has a bowel movement somewhere within the range of three times a day to three times a week.

    Watch below to learn more about how often you should be moving your bowels.

    Put simply, the best indication of what’s healthy is what’s normal for you. For example, if you usually go to the bathroom twice a day, and suddenly you’re only going twice a week, this indicates a change to your normal habit, and is therefore worth a visit to your GP.

    Other things to consider: colour and consistency

    The Bristol Stool Chart — created by the University of Bristol — is considered the go-to guide for analysing stool consistency. The chart outlines seven ‘stool types’, which are based on shape and consistency — broken down as follows:

    • Types 1 to 2: firm stools, which may indicate constipation
    • Types 3 to 4: soft stools, which are easy to pass – ideal consistency
    • Types 5 to 7: softer stools, which are very easy to pass and may indicate diarrhea or urgency

    So, while your stools may not fall into types three and four, again it’s important to know what’s normal for you, and if you’re suddenly falling onto types one or seven, consider getting it checked out.

    When to seek urgent medical attention

    On top of sudden changes in frequency or consistency, it’s worth being aware of the potentially more serious signs of illness, which could indicate a problem that requires urgent medical attention. The presence of blood in stools can be an indication of hemorrhoids or bowel infections, but can also be a sign of more serious conditions, such as bowel cancer, so it’s essential anyone reporting the symptom gets it checked out.

    Want to become more ‘regular’? Check out these tips.

    Recommended Reading

    Quit smoking the smart way

    Give yourself the best chance of success

    Read more

    Can exercise prevent depression in children?

    The benefits of physical activity at a young age

    Read more

    The truth about spirulina

    Superfood or ‘super-fad’?

    Read more

    The truth about apple cider vinegar

    The health benefits of apple cider vinegar.

    Read more

    A new APProach to eye testing

    How to get a better understanding of your vision

    Read more

    Find out when you are most fertile

    Use our ovulation calculator to find your fertile window

    Read more