How long on stool softeners is safe?

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Hi Ladies , i am almost 4 weeks post op and tried to reduce and stop my stool softener this week. Only to find the discomfort of being constipated and difficulty passing BM without worrying about straining something so back on them take 2 every night and seems to do trick. But can anyone advise how long they stayed on them for ? and if it is safe to stay on them for long periods. I am taking Coloxyl with senna. Appreciate any advice. Also if any one has had bladder control issued following recocelle and how & when they gained the control back ? ( I was okay before op). Hope all fellow patients are recovering well and getting lots of R & R . Big healing wishes xx

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  • Posted

    I had a full hysterectomy, vaginal suspension and rectocele on Dec. 4. I took 2 stool softeners a day and by 3 mos post op I was down to 1 a day. Now I'm on one every other day. Doc said they're not habit forming.

    Yes, I have bladder issues now. It seems to be getting better, but slowly. At 8 weeks I attempted to walk outside. I leaked the whole walk. Doc warned me I might leak after surgery. I took myself off of caffeine, my favorite sweet iced tea, I've resorted to green iced tea now. It helps.

    I went back and discussed this with both Drs. I was sent to physical therapy. I was instructed to do 4 sessions of 10 super kegels. You hold for 10 seconds. They also insert an electrical device that stimulates muscle contractions. That's interesting. 😜 I do that in 4-5 sessions for the next few weeks. Not sure it's offered elsewhere as my Dr came up with this system in Fort Wsyne, Indiana US.

    They also said I should drink 64 oz of water daily. I seriously can't do it. It's just too much. You can't imagine how much I'm in the bathroom.

    Check with your doc about PT.

    I can't have a sling or mesh as I'm on steroids for an immune problem called POLYMYALGIA , so I need to find another solution.

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    • Posted

      Thanks Pam, did physio before op so optmistic it will work again. Starting mine on 7th April 6 weeks post op. Appreciate quick reply keep smiling 
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  • Posted

    My doctor was ok with my using a different stool softener (polyethylene glycol 3550) when I talked to her.  I think Senna is a laxitive and it stimulates you going, it isn't a stool softener, so the advice for that is different.  I had been taking Colase which I think is the same as Coloxyl, but no Senna.   It is a stool softener.  She thought it was better to switch and said something about vitamin deficiencies when used long term.

    I don't think long term use of laxatives is recommended.  Can you drop the Senna and just use a stool softener?

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  • Posted

    Hi, I had both front and back prolapse repair and have been put on lactulose 10ml in morning and 10ml in evening for full 6 weeks . Makes you very windy, thought I'd try cut down too 5ml dose but to painful had too up to 10ml again was hoping to eventually cut it back! 3 year ago had front repair plus hysterectomy and was not given anything. So really apreciate the syrup this time.I think we need to be more mobile before coming off the help! 4 weeks is early days yet.

    Here's to speedy recovery!

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  • Posted

    I've done loads of reading on this. I'm not a doctor but it would seem long term use of stimulant laxatives (e.g. Senna) are habit forming, make your bowel lazy and eventually stop working with long term use. Stool softeners (e.g. polyethylene glycol 3350) are OK for long term use because they act on the stool not the bowel. Jury is out on docusate sodium - sometimes it is regarded as a softener but a couple of things I read suggest it might have stimulant properties. Not sure which camp lactulose falls into. I'm at 14 weeks and still taking the polyethylene glycol religiously as well as the docusate. At 4 weeks I'd definitely stick with what keeps you comfortable but wind down the Senna. Someone posted that two oranges every night does the trick. I'm definitely seeing an improvement with that though I really don't like oranges that much so still take the artificial stuff!
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    • Posted

      Lactose solution is meant to encourage normal bowel action! Nothing is as good as proper fibre, but Lactose is meant to be very gentle aid. Which is good to take while not very mobile. Shouldn't need help once up and about and more active. So will cut down lactulose as I start short walks decreasing the amount as walking increases!

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    • Posted

      Thanks haps , I have already decided to get the stool softner without senna. Never heard of polyethylene glycol but will look into it. Don't like eating too much fruit as all sugar in it makes me pile on the weight. Heaps of sugar in 2 oranges and already concious of ablitiy to gain extra weight while what feels like lounging around like a whale most of time. But like you and others have advised only short term so will use stool softeners without Senna til I see my spec in about 3 weeks. Not sure what docusate is? Im in Australia and some thins have different names her. Thanks for posting , keep smiling and appreciate support. 
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    • Posted

      polyethylene glycol 3550 is the one I take, too.  I think it is called Macrogal or Movicol in the UK.  In the US, the brand name is Miralax.
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