Tips & Tricks

Frequently asked questions

As you become more experienced with bowel irrigation, you may want to make sure that you have established the best routine. Here you will find information on how to maintain a good routine, as well as useful information about travelling with your Qufora irrigation system and troubleshooting any problems you may experience.

Can I irrigate more than once daily?

It is recommended to irrigate daily for the first three months to establish an effective regime. If this is not effective and you remain symptomatic, then you should discuss this with your healthcare professional. Bowel irrigation is an invasive procedure, therefore, to ensure it remains a positive procedure for you, any changes should always be as by your healthcare professional.

Should I sit in any specific position whilst on the toilet?

Although we have done this for many years, sitting on the toilet is not the best way to ensure we clear the rectum. Squatting is the optimal position, as it allows unkinking of your rectum, taking your body from a continent mode to an elimination mode.

This reduces straining and decreases the pressure in the anal and rectal veins. For some people who have to use a raised toilet seat, this can sometimes mean that toilet positioning for efficient bowel elimination is not possible and needs to be reviewed. Children, who advance from using a potty to a toilet, may also have difficulties emptying their rectum if their feet are also not on a firm surface. 

Tip of the day!

To create a good squatting position, you can place a foot stool or box under your feet whilst sitting on the toilet to raise your knees higher than hip level.

Should I eat before or after my bowel irrigation?

There is no set rule regarding eating before or after bowel irrigation. However, if you irrigate immediately after eating a meal and your stomach is full, then it might be uncomfortable. Therefore, it may be useful to wait 30-60 minutes after your meal. Everyone finds their own regime and, if possible, finding a set time of day can be helpful. It does not have to be an exact time, but should ideally be either every morning, afternoon or evening each time, for effective results.

Can I use abdominal massage to help my bowels move?

Your healthcare professional will advise you on this, but some people find that if the irrigation water does not start a bowel movement straight away, abdominal massage helps. Massaging your bowel gently in circular movements, clockwise around the abdomen can help get the bowel moving. You can also try leaning forward and coughing once or twice.

What if I have any pain or bleeding when I insert the catheter/cone?

Minor bleeding can be due to trauma from catheter insertion. Remember to activate the lubrication on the catheter by dipping it in water before inserting the catheter slowly and gently into the rectum. If minor bleeding or pain persists, contact your healthcare professional. If you experience excessive pain or bleeding, seek immediate medical advice.

Can I add anything to the water for irrigation?

Bowel irrigation works well with simple lukewarm tap water, similar to the temperature of a baby bath (36-38 degrees). You should not add anything to the warm water unless specifically advised by your healthcare professional.

Will I need to keep rushing to the toilet after I irrigate?

In general, bowel irrigation should not routinely cause urgency and frequency afterwards. Many people find irrigation easy to do right from the start and their bowel symptoms are relieved very quickly.

For others this may take a little longer. While you are in the early stage of bowel irrigation, it may take some practice before having complete clearance and the desired effect. Therefore, in the beginning, you may find you have to return to the toilet more often. The Qufora IrriSedo irrigation system you use may influence how long you need to sit on the toilet after irrigation.

Overall, the Qufora IrriSedo Mini uses a small volume of water and can have more rapid results. Qufora IrriSedo Cone, Qufora IrriSedo Klick with a rectal catheter balloon and Qufora IrriSedo Bed use larger volumes of water which can increase the time up to 30 minutes, and occasionally longer, depending upon your symptoms.

What if no water comes out after I have removed the catheter/cone?

Wait for a few more minutes, or you can try coughing and massaging your abdomen. This can help to start the bowel movements. Sometimes you may be dehydrated, and the water is absorbed in your bowels. If this persists, contact your healthcare professional.

What if I still have stool coming out after my irrigation session is finished?

This may be something that happens in the early stages of irrigation. It may be resolved after the continued use of irrigation. Should it continue, talk to your healthcare professional for further advice.

If you have any further questions about bowel irrigation, please contact your healthcare professional. Qufora is also ready to support you, if you need more information about your Qufora IrriSedo irrigation system.

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