How to Empty Your Bowels to Overcome Bowel Movement Problems

Learn how to overcome your bowel movement problems with this short Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist video that teaches how to use the correct bowel emptying technique.

Bowel Movement Video Content

Step-by-step instructions and demonstration for:

  1. How to sit and correct posture to improve bowel emptying;
  2. The ‘Brace and Bulge’ bowel movement technique taught by Pelvic Floor Physiotherapists.

Video Suitability

This short video is designed to help you overcome bowel movement problems with:

Bowel Movement Problems and Rectal Prolapse

This video demonstrates the correct bowel movement position and technique technique to avoid straining and protect your pelvic floor.

Learn the highly effective ‘Brace and Bulge’ technique for overcoming bowel movement problems. This bowel movement technique is widely taught in clinical physiotherapy to overcome bowel movement problems and promote effective emptying of the bowels without straining.

Bowel movement problems are frequently experienced by women with prolapse of the back wall of the vagina, also known as rectocoele. Constipation and incomplete emptying with a prolapse can be caused by a combination of factors including; decreased sensation of rectal filling due to overstretching, pelvic floor muscle weakness and insufficient pelvic floor muscle relaxation during defaecation.

Strategies to assist bowel emptying with rectocoele include those outlined in this video: brace and bulge technique, correct positioning, management of stool consistency, relaxed breathing and pelvic floor strengthening.


prolapse exercises

with Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist Michelle Kenway

Learn how to exercise safely, strengthen your prolapse and reduce your risk of repeat prolapse.

Prolapse Exercises is a complete exercise guide for women after prolapse surgery seeking to exercise safely and protect their pelvic floor.




  1. Excellent. Just recovering from prolape repair surgery on 2nd Nov and came across your website.The video gave a clear explanation and gave me the confidence to use the loo without straining.

    • Pelvic Exercises says:

      Hi Jo
      I am so glad this bowel movement video helped you to avoid straining. This is so inportant with a prolapse and after prolpase surgery to avoid recurrent prolapse. Good luck Jo!

  2. Message Body:
    Hi Michelle,
    My wife was suffering from anal fissure. It was frustrating for her
    because every alternate week the fissure will tear despite strict fibre
    diet & soft bowel.
    After 6 months of endearing pain & suffering, my wife was at the verge of
    going for surgery. Until our Colorectal specialist recommended bowel
    retraining, and we started some research on this area. Eventually we discovered your Youtube video on clearing bowel position, and my wife
    practiced it and it works tremendously for her!
    Thank you so much.

    Mr Chia

    • Pelvic Exercises says:

      Hi Mr Chia
      Yes it is so imprtant to avoid straining with an anal fissure and to use the correct technique to empty your bowels. I am so glad this video has helped your wife to overcome her anal fissure. This brace and bulge technique does take some practice but it is worth the effort to help avoid straining especially after childbirth, prolapse surgery and with anal conditions such as anal fissure and hemorrhoids just to name a few.

  3. Hi Michele,

    Thank you so much for your encouraging work in the field of uterine prolapse. I have recently been diagnosed and until I found your website, I really felt defeated, I don`t want to have surgery if at all possible. My prolapse is at the point where I can feel my cervix at the opening of my vagina. I am hoping that with the help of your book Inside Out I will be able to prevent my condition from getting worse. Ihave ordered the hard copy and can`wait for it to arrive. I would truly welcome any other advise you can give to me I would be grateful for any information and advise G od BLESS you

    • Pelvic Exercises says:

      Hi Marie
      Thank you for taking the time to email me. I think having a uterine prolapse carries a physical and emotional burder for many women that is often not recognised and treated. Women often express a variety of emotions ranging from fear, disappointment and even at times shame and I really understand you expressing a sense of being defeated, and I feel for you. Pelvic floor exercises for uterine prolapse can help women who have mild and sometimes moderate prolapse. The uterine prolapse cannot be reversed using kegels or pelvic exercises however some women report that their symptoms of vaginal heaviness and dragging are markedly reduced. When a prolapse is severe further intervention is usually warranted. This may be in the form of a vaginal pessary or prolapse surgery depending on the advice of the treating specialist. Some women try Kegels or pelvic floor exercises for a number of months to see if they help reduce their prolapse symptoms. Others are starting to perform these exercises when they know they are going to be having prolapse surgery in order to improve their pelvic floor support and hopefully improve the long-term outcomes of this surgery. When the prolapse is severe pelvic exercises can sometimes be easier initially performed in the mornings lying down. It can be very difficult to activate your pelvic floor muscles especially when they are fatigued at the end of the day with a dragging uterune prolapse. So it seems that it can only benefit you long term to exercise and strengthen your pelvic floor muscle support regardless of the course of action that ulimately needs to be taken. Marie I wish you wellness and resolution to your current health issue. Michelle

  4. Hi Michelle,

    I ordered your book inside out and I recently received it at home in the mail. However,I also subscribed to your offer to receive e-mail and a10 minute video which I still have not received. Can you please inform me by e-mail how I can go about getting them? Thank you for your wonderful work in encouraging women to regain pelvic floor strength. You are an answer to prayer. God bless you.

    Marie C.

    • Pelvic Exercises says:

      Hi Marie
      Thanks for your email and kind words. The link for the free video on how to find and feel your pelvic floor muscles arrives automatically when you subscribe to our newsletter. I have emailed you another link to access it again. I hope you find the information helpful. Warm regards Michelle

  5. Hi Michelle!
    Thank you for your video.My problem is not constipation. My problem is I seem to be unable to empty completely my bowels.
    Have you got any tips to solve that problem?

  6. yes, along with janou above, i have problems emptying fully also, even if i strain and ny stools are soft!!
    i find if they harden they're easier to push out, but then thats not good for me to do with a prolapse.
    i have a stage two cystocele, but no rectocele apparently, but i will often have an amount of stool remaining, that then get all hard after sitting around, and are then uncomforable to pass!
    why, if my stool is soft, will it not just come out??? so frustrating!

  7. I have 3 internal hemorrhoids and an internal anal fissure, which make me bleed a lot!  I also have pelvic floor dysfunction/tension and I am unable to fully evacuate my bowels in one sitting!  I have to keep getting back on and off the toilet again, (numerous) times throughout the day and it also seems like my muscle walls down there are not only very tense. But, also very sensitive as well… since I also find myself getting back on the toilet just to excrete mucus/blood/water etc. Also, the more I go back to get on the toliet and have another bowel movment, the more my muslce (pelvic) walls tense up and start to hurt and be sore as well… Why is all this….. and do you think this video will work for me as well too in my current condition/situation?    :-\              

  8. frankie says:

    nothing is working.  I had a vaginal hyst and posterior and anteriorvaginal repair 5 days ago. Ihave takenall sorts of meds and a high fibre diet which is my norm but I am getting a bit upset to say the least.  I don't have much pain except when wind happens and that is pretty horrible.  Any suggestions?
    So good to find somewhere to discuss these things

    • Hi Frankie, I have also just had a 3 way reconstruction – uterine prolapse with rectocele repairs. I cannot seen to empty fully and the wind is continuous …… I keep trying to empty without straining and feel as though I am forever needing to open my bowels. How long did this last for you?

  9. Thanks for the video! Because of a cystocoele I have been having problems because I seem to try to hold my bladder in place whilst pushing to have a bowel motion (try it sometime!). All my life I have had problems with constipation and this seems to help deal with that as well. I have been doing this most natural procedure wrong most of my life.

    • Michelle Kenway says:

      Hi Sue
      You are not alone in this, many of us use the wrong technique and unfortunately this can just make prolapse problems and constipation a whole lot worse. This bowel emptying technique takes practice and patience to learn. Manually supporting a prolapse is actually quite a common thing that many women need to do to empty their bowels, if anything it supports the prolapse so I don’t have an issue with it. In fact we sometimes teach some women post op. prolapse repair (and after childbirth too) to manually support their pelvic floor during bowel movements but sure makes the whole relaxing the pelvic floor thing tricky while reaching around to support. Good luck Sue! Michelle

  10. LindaSD says:

    I’m in the USA and found your site when searching for overactive bladder help. I have to tell you how wonderful and how helpful all your videos are. I never thought I’d have to learn how to have a bowel movement and I can’t tell you how this video and the pelvic floor information has changed my life. My urologist never once mentioned any of this and went right for doing an interstim therapy device implant – I said no and started searching for alternative to my issues. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! With medication for the OAB and following your exercise dos and don’ts, I’m 100% better.

    • Michelle Kenway says:

      Hi Liz
      Thank you so much for taking the time to write this feedback – it is really satisfying to be able to help other women and I am so glad that this information has helped to improve your life!
      Good luck and best wishes

  11. Juliet S says:

    I’m so delighted to have stumbled across your excellent site and am using it every day as I recover from hysterectomy, cystocele and rectocele repair. I found the bowel emptying video especially helpful as I have been having rather frequent bowel movements, perhaps due to the Movicol prescribed by my consultant. I am concerned this will cause damage but at least I can be sure I’m using the correct techniques. Nothing like your advice was available pre or post surgery. ‘Not straining’ on the toilet is a very unhelpful instruction on its own! I am also convinced that a lot of the stress that came with endless trips to empty my bladder in hospital, followed by scans to check emptying was adequate for hospital discharge, could have been avoided if I had known what I should have been doing…many, many thanks. I will be pointing everyone in your direction.


    • Michelle Kenway says:

      Thanks so much for your feedback Juliet, yes I agree a bit of info about how to empty the bowels using the correct technique is empowering without doubt when you are struggling to empty but not strain post op. Don’t hesitate to phone your consultant if you think you might need to adjust the Movicol dose, sometimes this takes a bit of getting right during recovery too.

      Hope all goes well from here on in!

  12. Thank you so much for this video, Michelle. I have pelvic floor dysfunction and likely an internal rectal prolapse, and this video is the first and only helpful instruction I have found. Using this technique alone and elevating my feet, I was able to improve my condition on my own while I waited for biofeedback treatment. Now having gone through that and experienced some further improvement, I’m returning to this and wondering whether I can improve even further. Thank you so much for providing this frank and helpful video.

    • Michelle Kenway says:

      Hi J.K.
      Go glad to hear that your were able to use this technique to assist you – it is so challenging trying not to strain with rectal prolapse and still empty effectively, it can take some time to really get the hang of this brace and bulge action to empty in combination with goog management of stool consistency and pelvic floor muscle rehabilitation. Best of luck with your future management and thank you for your comment.

  13. Hi im andrea I want to know how can I have a bowel movement if I hemorrhoids how can I my it easier for me I had a gallbladder removal in February and it feel like it made it harder for me to have a movement

    • Michelle Kenway says:

      Hi Andrea
      Using the correct bowel movement position and technique is a start. It is important to keep the stool from becoming too hard so that the bowel movement is easier to pass and so that there is no need to strain. Foods that soften the stool are listed in this article along with other tips that may assist you to manage hemorrhoids.
      Best of luck

  14. debbie oskins says:

    I tried to view the bowel movement video but it is not in place. There is a large blank area where it should be unless I’m missing something.

    Thank you,

    • Michelle Kenway says:

      Hi Debbie

      Thanks so much for taking the time to contact me – I have just run a check, the bowel movement video is there I am not sure why it is not showing for you. It may be taking some time to load onto your browser. The other way option is to view this bowel movement video on You Tube now.

      Hope this gives you the information you are seeking Debbie


  15. Hi, what do you think about squatting on the toilet?

    • Michelle Kenway says:

      Hi DE
      Squatting over the toilet causes contraction of the anal sphincter and in doing so increases bowel emptying problems. Sitting on the seat allows the pelvic floor muscles (and anal sphincter) to relax.

      • There are specific squatting toilet platforms if you look it up (Nature’s Platform)..
        That way you’re above the toilet, not squatting over it with your feet on the ground. This is same as nature intended I would say. 2/3 of the world don’t use sitting toilets. Some people might have trouble with this position, I’m just throwing it out there as an option to try and see if it works for you. Thousands of years ago, I’m sure you wouldn’t find one person on earth sitting on anything.

  16. just want to say i discovered your videos on youtube and then came to your website your videos are so upbeat friendly and informative i was so impressed and i’m looking forward to learning more. You are very generous. Thank you so much for all that you have given the world, you have clearly help so many people!

    • Michelle Kenway says:

      Hi Kathryn
      Thanks so much for taking the time to write to me – I really do appreciate your feedback and hope I can help your life in some small positive way
      Best wishes

      • Michelle,
        I’m just 12 years old & fed up of constipation. I’m constipated from about a week & am not able to push the stool down as it is very hard & the moment I try it starts bleeding. Please suggest something which can help me out. I tried the exercise in that video but it didn’t help. You’ve helped sooo many people, hope to get a reply soon…

        Thanks & regards

        • Michelle Kenway Physiotherapist says:

          Hi Amaya

          Yes if the stool is too hard is is difficult to our and can cause bleeding. Amaya this exercise technique only works well when the stool consistency is right – if the stool is too hard it just won’t work well. The focus needs to be getting the stool soft and well formed and then using the correct emptying technique shown in this video. You might like to read this information on stool softener foodsdon’t worry about the mention of prolapse in this article, the information is still appropriate to read. If you have access to an accredited practicing dietician this would be beneficial too as many factors can contribute to causing constipation.

          All the best

  17. I recently not only had a hysterectomy but also prolapse rectocele surgery. hysterectomy went fine and they told me having a bowel movement was going to be bad after the prolapse surgery, however they didn’t explain how bad actually they didn’t explain anything at all. they just sent me home and then the next day when I called asking what to expect it was like I had never been at that hospital. thank you for making this video and help me through what I must say had been the three most painful days of my life.

  18. Carolyn Purple Lumbra says:

    I ordered a squatty potty and it helps a lot with positioning.

  19. Hi, I am wondering if you can offer me any help with having bowel movements with anismus. It seems my anal muscles spasm up instead of opening when I attempt to have a bowel movement. I had anal manometry done and this was the diagnosis. THank you, Sarah

  20. Hi Michelle

    I am hoping that you can help. I had a total hysterectomy 6 months ago and am having problems with bowel movements.
    Before my surgery I had no issues-regular elimination three to four times a day, now I only am able to eliminate once or twice
    every 3 to 4 days. I have now get back pains in my lower right side just above my buttocks area. (my husband says it might be my sciatic nerve) not sure. I get to the point of having issues walking and feel sick.
    While researching this I came upon the website which offered a bunch of information. In fact if you
    google FEMALE ANATOMY: THE FUNCTION OF THE FEMALE ORGANS there is a clip that is very helpful in explaining
    certain issues.

    I just happened upon you site and need to do a lot more reading. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with others.
    I live in the United States and wondered if there was a outlet here in which I could purchase your dvd’s and book?

    Also could you provide me or direct me with any other information that I might be able to read that would help me now and in the future to be able to overcome /help make things easier for me with the whole elimination issue. The reason for the hysterectomy
    in the first place was because of having abnormal cell growth -to avoid cancer. But now I am concerned because of being
    toxic that cancer may be threat in the future.



    • Michelle Kenway Physiotherapist says:

      Hi Mari

      Many thanks for your comment. Constipation can be caused by many factors; stool too hard, too much fibre, insufficient fibre, poor technique, tight pelvic floor muscles that won’t relax to allow emptying, pelvic floor weakness … I think that it will be helpful if you can focus on getting the right still consistency. Often if women are able to get there still consistency correct and use the brace and bulge bowel emptying technique shown in this video they can manage the bowels quite well. If the stool is too hard it will be very difficult for the correct technique to achieve complete emptying. This article on stool consistency might give you a place to start reading.

      It may be worthwhile discussing the use of an osmotic laxative with your doctor or pharmacist for the short-term to help you manage at the moment.

      Mari we send all the DVDs and books available on this site to the US (and worldwide) daily.

      I hope this gives you a starting point, all the best


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