Should you need urgent health advice please contact your GP or call NHS 111. In an emergency please visit A&E or call 999.
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Problems with poo Overhanging boy

Going to the toilet starts with what we eat and drink. This is called digestion.


Digestion starts in the mouth, which produces a liquid called saliva (your spit). Your spit breaks down the food and makes it mushy and easier to swallow.

Muscles in your food pipe (the ‘oesophagus’) help to push the food down into your stomach. In your stomach, the food mixes with more liquid and gets broken down into smaller pieces before it goes into your small bowel.

The small bowel absorbs all the good stuff from your food, and the rest gets pushed along into your large bowel. The bits of food that your body is unable to use is called waste and moves on down the large bowel and through until it comes to your rectum (bottom).

When your rectum becomes full, you feel like you need to go for a poo.

Ideally, your poo should come out easily and look like a sausage! But, sometimes having a poo might be uncomfortable. Your poo might be really hard or runny. You might have tummy pain, find it hard to push the poo out and it may hurt.

Bristol stool chart

If you are worried about your poo, speak to your parent/carer or the school nurse.

Top tips for ‘sausage’ poo

  • Drink at least six to eight glasses of fluid a day, but avoid fizzy drinks as these can dehydrate you and make your poo hard.
  • Exercise- keeping active helps to keep your poo moving through your bowel.

Don’t forget….

  • To wipe your bottom after going for a poo until the toilet paper is clean
  • Girls should wipe from the front to the back (vagina to bottom) to stop germs from spreading
  • To flush the toilet
  • To wash your hands every time you have been to the toilet

Now that you know all about poo, find out more from our page on wee. If you want to find out more about healthy bowels, check out the Eric website.

Riddle me this!
How many glasses of fluid should you drink per day?
Quiz girl
Quiz girl
Quiz girl
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Try to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day to keep the hard poo away!
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Page last reviewed: 09-02-2022

Next review due: 09-02-2025