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The 5 Best Enemas For Constipation

The 5 Best Enemas For Constipation
HPFY Staff Writer

Introduction     |     Types of Enemas     |     Best Enema For Constipation     |     Customizable Enema Options

Reviewed by Registered Colorectal NurseReviewed by Christine Kijek, Registered Colorectal Nurse, on April 21, 2023

5 Best Over the Counter Enemas Why Pick It?
1. Fleet Saline Laxative Enema Hydrates and softens stool
2. GeriCare Stool Softener Docusate Sodium Relieves occasional constipation (irregularity)
3. Magic Bullet Suppository Rapid constipation relief within minutes
4. Medline Pure and Gentle Disposable Mineral Oil Enema Fast occasional constipation relief and easy insertion
5. Fleet Liquid Glycerin Suppositories Gently unblocks your system within minutes

An enema is used for many reasons. Just as there are many reasons there are different types of enemas, each of which contains different ingredients and works differently in the body. While some may choose an enema to soften stool or for routine colon cleansing, the reason for using it may be more of a medical necessity. Enemas have been used as part of alternative health therapy for some time, but no matter the reason, they all have basically one thing in common: cleansing. In this article, you can explore our 5 best enemas for constipation relief.

What is Enema?

Enemas are not exactly a household word. While everyone may know generally what they are, there may be misunderstandings about their benefits and how they work. An enema is a fluid injected into the lower intestines and colon via the rectum. The most common use of this is to relieve constipation or impacted stool. Those with bowel dysfunction may use an enema to deal with fecal incontinence as well as constipation. While many people use oral laxatives or suppositories, sometimes, the direct use of them can also help.

Different Types of Enemas

While the endgame (no pun intended) of all enema options is similar, the different types may work differently within the body. Some enemas are designed for specific medical procedures (such as a barium enema) or, more importantly, relief from constipation or impacted stool.

  • Mineral Oil Enemas - A mineral oil-based enema is used to lubricate and soften the stool while helping it slide through the colon easily. It is available in a prefilled squirt bottle that is easy to use and disposable.
  • Sodium Phosphate Enemas - It works in a different way from one that is mineral oil-based. As opposed to just lubricating and softening, this one draws water from the body into the colon, therefore loosening impacted stool and expelling it from the body through the rectum.
  • Saline Solution Enemas - Sometimes, just a water or saline solution enema can be enough to get relief from minor constipation. It is important to ensure you use the appropriate amount of fluid, or an injury can occur.

Which is Better Saline or Mineral Oil Enema?

Saline and mineral oil enemas are both used to relieve constipation, but they work in different ways. If you are looking for the most effective one, a saline enema is a good option. However, if you are looking for a more comfortable choice, a mineral oil enema may be the best enema for constipation. Here is a table comparing the two types:

Mineral Oil vs Saline Enema

Feature Mineral Oil Enema Saline Enema
Mechanism of action Coats the stool, making it easier to slide through the colon Draws water into the colon, softening the stool
Comfort More comfortable Less comfortable
Effectiveness Less effective at relieving constipation More effective at relieving constipation
Purpose Constipation relief, lubrication Bowel evacuation, constipation relief

Below is a chart giving examples of fluid amounts:

  Fluid amounts for large volume enemas  
Infant 50 to 150 ml
Toddler 250 to 350 ml
Child 300 to 500 ml
Adolescent 500 to 750 ml
Adult 750 to 1000 ml

Many people have sought out enemas as an alternative therapy. Using a colonic to cleanse the colon has become quite popular for removing feces and nonspecific toxins from the colon and intestinal tract. These enemas can have side effects, such as bloating, gas, and diarrhea, not to mention electrolyte imbalance, so make sure to discuss these with your doctor or nurse before deciding to buy enema equipment.

How to use an enema on your own?

To begin with, anybody can administer an enema themselves. All you really need is the right information and a little concentration. To administer or use it on your own, you need -

  • A quiet place, preferably a bathroom, where you can lie down
  • Some fresh towels
  • A timer to watch the time
  • An enema
  • Some hot water and soap

Instructions -

  1. Wash your hands with soap and hot water. Dry them well
  2. Remove your lower body clothes.
  3. Spread a towel on the bathroom floor and lie on either side of your body. If you're right-handed, lie on the left side; if you're left-handed, lie on your right side for the sake of easy movement.
  4. Put your foremost foot forward and place a towel underneath your knee. Doing this will help your body to stay in one position and not hurt any of your body parts.
  5. Remove the cap present on the beak of the enema.
  6. With gentle hands, insert the tip of the enema inside your anus. 
  7. Continue inserting with the least exertion of force for 3-4 inches.
  8. Slowly squeeze the liquid until the container is fully emptied.
  9. Now remove the beak of the enema and let it do its job. Hold the content for about 10 minutes if possible. Then, sit on the toilet to release or expel the contents
  10. Please go through the instructions of the kit thoroughly before starting the process.  

The instructions for how to use an enema are mentioned above. However, there are certain precautions you must take while administering it yourself. Some things to keep in mind are -

  • Do not use more than one dosage a day unless prescribed by the doctor
  • Do not use this if you are using another sodium phosphate product already.
  • Keep it out of reach of children
  • Dosage: 1 bottle for adults and children above 12 years of age; Use a pediatric enema for children ages 2-11 years
  • If you're pregnant, please consult your doctor before taking any dosage of this product
  • If, after the administration, you experience symptoms such as rectal bleeding, no bowel movement within 30 minutes after use, or signs of dehydration (nausea, vomiting, dizziness, or frequent urination, etc.), Call your doctor. It might be an indication of some serious health concerns.

5 Best Enemas For Constipation

1. Fleet Saline Laxative Enema

FSA Eligible Items FSA Approved LatexFree Latex Free

The Fleet Saline Laxative Enema provides a soft stool mass and increased bowel action, leading to a bowel movement within 1-5 minutes. It is the best enema for constipation and bowel cleansing before a rectal exam. Its disposable squeeze bottle is pre-lubricated and should not be refilled with other liquid. This product is fairly easy to use and is completely latex-free. Its protective shield protects the enema from contamination. Also, the product has a flexible comfort tip that is pre-lubricated for easy and painless insertion. The one-way safety valve regulates the flow and helps avoid reflux. It is also suitable for kids aged 2-11 years. This is widely used as an instant relief remedy for occasional constipation.

Benefits of using Fleet Saline Laxative Enema

  • Easy to squeeze
  • Latex-free to prevent allergic reactions
  • Comes for both adults and pediatrics
  • Has a soft, pre-lubricated ComforTip for easy insertion

2. GeriCare Stool Softener Docusate Sodium 

FSA Eligible Items FSA Approved LatexFree Latex Free

GeriCare Stool Softener Docusate Sodium is one of the best enemas for constipation as it helps soften the stool and pass with more comfort when experiencing constipation. Taking it as a preventative measure before surgery or when taking medication is highly recommended. It provides a gentle and safe over-the-counter medication without any harsh side effects that many laxatives can have. GeriCare stool softener is stimulant-free, increasing the water content in the stool to make it softer to pass.


3. Magic Bullet Suppository

This suppository can be disseminated within minutes of insertion because it is water-soluble. It works after contacting the intestinal wall, usually within 15 to 60 minutes. The active ingredient in this suppository is bisacodyl, 10mg, and the base is polyethylene glycol, which is water soluble. Unlike other laxatives based on bisacodyl, suppository has no oil base (hydrogenated vegetable oil), making it the best suppository for constipation. The oil base must dissolve before the bisacodyl can induce the colon to contract and expel the feces in these other suppositories.

Features of Magic Bullet Suppository

  • Acts fast
  • Used rectally for bowel incontinence
  • Stimulates the bowel as the base is water soluble (polyethel glycol) and causes bisacodyl to disperse within minutes of insertion
  • Lessens the time taken for bowel movement 

4. Medline Pure and Gentle Disposable Mineral Oil Enema

FSA Eligible Items FSA Approved LatexFree Latex Free

Medline Pure and Gentle Disposable Mineral Oil Enema is a single-use squeeze bottle containing a mineral oil solution that relieves constipation. It typically comes with a pre-lubricated tip for easy insertion. It is designed for use on an elevated toilet seat.

Features of Medline Pure and Gentle Mineral Oil Enema

  • Formulated with pure mineral oil
  • Comes with a pre-lubricated tip for easy insertion
  • Designed for one-time use, ensuring cleanliness
  • Sodium-free enema

5. Fleet Liquid Glycerin Suppositories

Fleet Liquid Glycerin Suppositories are a type of over-the-counter enema used for the relief of occasional constipation. It contains glycerin that attracts water into the stool, helping soften it and promote bowel movement. It takes seconds to use and provides relief in minutes, making it one of the best enemas for constipation.

Features of Fleet Glycerin Suppositories

  • Has no mess applicators
  • Available without a prescription
  • Formulated to be non-irritating to the delicate rectal tissue
  • Small, easy to insert, and require no mixing or preparation

Customizable Enema Options

Not all enemas need to be in a prefilled, ready-to-use bottle. Some are customizable according to user preferences. The set allows users to use any type of liquid they want to use.  

  • The Marlen Colonic Enema Set allows users to use any type of liquid they want to use. It is often used for safe, effective evacuation for those experiencing loss of sphincter control.
  • One option that allows patients flexibility is the Medline Disposable Enema Bucket Set. It comes in a wrapped polypropylene bag with a bucket, tube with clamp, sterile lubricating jelly, and castile soap packet. It is a great one-stop shop for your enema usage.
  • Another option is the Bard Radiopaque Rubber Colon Tube with Funnel End. This 30-inch-long tube is designed for administering enemas (as well as certain medications) and features an open distal tip and one side-eye. It does contain latex and is non-sterile while being designed for single use.
  • The Bard Rubber Rectal Catheter uses an inflatable balloon to maintain proper catheter position and is perfect for one-time enema use and other medications. This catheter is made of latex and is non-sterile.

Whether you choose to use any enema kits for relieving constipation or as alternative medicine, there are plenty of options for just about everyone.

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Disclaimer: All content found on our website, including images, videos, infographics, and text were created solely for informational purposes. Our reviewed content should never be used for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment of any medical conditions. Content shared on our websites is not meant to be used as a substitute for advice from a certified medical professional. Reliance on the information provided on our website as a basis for patient treatment is solely at your own risk. We urge all our customers to always consult a physician or a certified medical professional before trying or using a new medical product.


HPFY HPFY Staff Writer

HPFY Staff Writer

HPFY Staff Writers are product experts with years of experience in medical supplies and equipment retail. They specialize in understanding the typical usage of our products, the differentiation between brands and have insights on product popularity and features. Each article ...

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