Children who are constipated and have bladder symptoms will often need medications to help resolve their constipation. It is important to have daily soft bowel movements to allow the bladder to expand. These medications are called stool softeners or laxatives. Children may need to be on these medications for 6-12 months. There are usually three phases of taking bowel medication.
This phase may last 1-3 days. During this time, your child will receive doses of laxatives that clean out any hard stool or impaction in the colon. Your child will have a large amount of very soft, mushy stool during this phase.
This phase can last up to 6-12 months. During this time your child will take an oral laxative or stool softener along with a high fiber diet, increased fluids and behavior changes. The dose of the bowel medication may need to be changed during this period of time. To make it easier to change your child’s bowel medication, it is helpful to follow this Bristol Stool Chart.
During this phase, the laxatives or stool softeners will be slowly decreased and then discontinued. It is important for the child to remain on the high fiber diet and increased fluids.
What To Expect
Expect your child to have a daily soft bowel movement while taking the bowel medications. Use the Bristol Stool Chart to help keep a record of your child's bowel movements. The ideal bowel movement should look like type 4 or 5. If your child's bowel movements are ideal, the bladder should function better.