Functional Constipation and Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

Ernest P. Bouras

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Constipation is variably defined, and its diagnosis is often arbitrary. Patients with functional constipation (FC) present with difficult, infrequent, or seemingly incomplete defecation without meeting criteria for irritable bowel syndrome. There are a variety of secondary causes of constipation, including medications that slow colonic transit. A functional defecation disorder secondary to pelvic floor dysfunction (PFD) is a common, often under-appreciated abnormality in patients presenting with constipation. While fiber supplementation and osmotic laxatives are successful for many patients with FC, the treatment of choice for PFD is pelvic floor rehabilitation (biofeedback). Therefore, a stepwise diagnostic and therapeutic approach to patients with FC based on historical and physical examination features is recommended. Clinical awareness and focused testing to identify the physiologic abnormalities underlying constipation facilitate management and improve patient outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPractical Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Subtitle of host publicationSmall and Large Intestine and Pancreas
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9781405182744
StatePublished - Aug 31 2010


  • Anorectal manometry
  • Biofeedback
  • Constipation
  • Defecation disorder
  • Pelvic floor dysfunction
  • Pelvic floor rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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