8 Year-old Can't Get Bottom Clean

Hello, I'm new. I don't know if anyone can help with this one - I've been looking at posts and can't see anything on this. My son (just turned 8) is having real difficulty in getting his bottom clean after a poo. It started in January - he was getting very upset at school and telling us he was afraid he would get poo in his pants (he hasn't). It developed very quickly and we thought he was getting OCD as he would go to the toilet and wipe and wipe and check and check that his bottom was clean. We went to the doctor and were given Senna for constipation which didn't do anything and we then went to Movicol (my son actually took this for a couple of years when he was younger for constipation but we haven't had any toilet problems for about 2 years and he was off the Movicol). We are under the care of a nursing team but can't get the Movicol dose right as he is currently pooing about five times a day and the nurses say they are not sure what is happening. Sometimes when he does a poo he can clean himself easily - there is very little to clean. Other times he can be stuck in the bathroom wiping and wiping (wet or dry toilet paper) because he can see very small stains of poo on the toilet paper. It can lead to enormous anxiety and screaming (and my husband and I would like to scream too with the frustration of it all). I do find that sometimes after he has had a poo it actually can be difficult to wipe and there is poo there which takes a while to clean - I think he is not fully emptying the bowel. But we seem to be going round in circles as the Movicol makes him poo so much, so he has to wipe so often and gets so upset if he can't get clean. At school he is having to have special support as his anxiety is so high it is affecting school. We've tried reducing the Movicol to once every other day and once every two days - this can mean he poos slightly less but still can't always get clean.

Any advice would be appreciated. We've been dealing with this since the first week of January and are even seeing a psychologist to deal with anxiety (he's now developed a fear of germs and being ill). I feel we can't move forward until he can do a poo that is easy to wipe - ie a poo that doesn't require much wiping up! I really don't even know if he is actually constipated and I have been told he is not impacted so this isn't poo leaking around a hard poo. Can anyone help?

Many thanks.


9 Replies

  • Poor u!

    It isn't an issue I have with mine (my 8 yr old is the opposite & will sit in own waste for hours) but reading what u put, could it be dietary? Have u tried keeping a food diary & seeing if the poo that is more difficult to wipe occurs when he has eaten anything specific?

  • I think that this is the result of the movicol. Our daughter has been on this for over four years and has the same problems but doesn't get upset about it. She usually needs help to clean up and still has accidents. This isn't a lot of help but he might like to know he's not alone and that it is the medicines fault. My daughter was amazed to realise she wasn't alone. Diet certainly could be an issue too. Take care xx

  • I think you should use baby wipes as this may help your son get his bottom clean so that he does not have to keep wiping. Also when he is at school he should carry

    baby wipes in a zip lock bag or they have pouches that can fit right in his backpack. Hope everything works out.

  • Ive found that movicol, Although being a godsend for us, makes the poo very sticky and can be hard to wipe... Have you tried senna instead and not using movicol at all? Also, 100% with Gabe-G... Baby wipes (fragrance free!) all the way!can't survive without them...

    Hope this helps...

  • I agree, movicol made my daughters poo a bit sticky and leaky. I did feel the texture of the powder and water mixed together once and it felt a bit oily so I guess that's why.

  • thank you so much everyone for your relies - it means a lot to have found this forum. Our problem is that my son's inability to be able to wipe clean after a poo was what prompted us to get help and were told he was probably constipated and given Movicol. I think if we give him too much Movicol the poos might get a bit sticky but his problems began before Movicol. The nursing team we have seen are a bit baffled as to why this is happening still as he is pooing so much they have asked us to reduce the movicol dose. In terms of diet he is not a great eater but his diet hasn't changed in any way.

    we will plod on and see if things improve.

    many thanks

  • Hi I myself have dietary issues and have found that if I've eaten something I shouldn't the poo can have mucus around it and this can be an issue with getting clean. Also while pregnant I got small internal/external piles and these can make and feel like I'm unclean so I have to wipe more carefully sorry for TMI. I hope you get help from the specialist regarding his fears soon. Moist toilet papers are good for school as these flush easier than wipes as he might use a few too many at a time. Only saying that as my son used half a pack of wipes cleaning himself this week all in one go.

    Best wishes

  • regular toilet paper is really so inefficient in these situations. I'm not sure what else to recommend, maybe a tea towel cut in half and put in a ziplock baggie to take home to wash? Maybe some face cloths? YOu didn't say how young he is but he would likely need help with cleaning?

  • Thank you everyone who replied - we've been to see the nurses again who don't think my son does have constipation - he poos too much and it's the right type of poo, apparently - think he might not be always emptying the bowel due to anxiety. Thanks for the advice though as it's still proving difficult for him.

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