What are the possible complications?
Sometimes, constipation can lead to complications, especially if you have chronic (frequent) constipation. Possible complications include:
- Anal fissure (a tear in the skin around the anus)
- Fecal impaction (when stool becomes too large for you to pass on your own)
- Rectal prolapse (when the act of straining to have a bowel movement pushes a small piece of the intestine out of the anus)
If you don’t seek treatment, these complications can become serious and may require surgery. Talk to your doctor right away if you notice blood or mucus in or on your stool, or if you are unable to pass any stool.
See a list of resources used in the development of this information.
Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff