Idiopathic Constipation

Constipation is a common childhood problem that sometimes requires medical attention to treat and prevent.

Constipation is a common childhood problem. Normal bowel movements should be soft and easy to pass. Children who are constipated have hard, dry and sometimes painful bowel movements; they may go several days without a bowel movement. Some children with severe constipation soil their underwear. This soiling is involuntary and caused by liquid stool leaking around hard pieces of stool; this is called encopresis or pseudo incontinence.


The management of constipation requires an understanding of the nature of the problem. The goal of treatment is to empty the rectum daily with the use of laxatives and/or diet. The first step is to remove the fecal impaction. Once the impaction is removed, laxatives are started. There are many different types of laxatives; one is needed that will provoke a bowel movement on a daily basis.

Primary Children’s Colorectal Center provides a Bowel Management Program to treat children with constipation. We specialize in treatment of children with structural and neurological abnormalities and work closely with pediatric gastrointestinal specialists in the management of children with severe idiopathic (unknown cause) constipation.