Will stool softener soften existing stool?

Have you ever found yourself in a frustrating situation where your bowel movements were as hard as rocks, and pushing them out felt like giving birth? Well then, you might have turned to a bowel movement aid in the form of stool softeners. But the real question is, will they soften existing stools too, or do they only work preventatively? Let’s get down to business and explore this important topic.

What are Stool Softeners?

Before diving deep into our topic at hand, let’s first understand what we mean by stool softeners. Stool softeners are over-the-counter medications that help make passing stools easy by adding moisture to the bowels. The active ingredients found within these drugs are mainly docusate sodium or potassium which allow more water and fat absorption into the gut wall from solid waste matter making it easier for solid faecal material pass through the anus easily without causing discomfort.

These medications can come in different forms such as pills taken orally or liquids that must be ingested directly through enema tubes – really depends on personal preference ^(as if anyone enjoys enemas) !

Some people may need stool softeners because of their lifestyle habits while others may require them due to underlying health problems.

There is no definite answer when it comes to using stool softeners unless there is an obvious issue with constipation ^(more fibre please!) .

Do stool Softener Work On Existing Stools?

Now let’s address why you clicked on this article – does a product designed specifically for preventing constipation actually help alleviate already present symptoms when nature calls? In short — YES!

Stool Softners work perfectly fine for already-hardened droppings (logs pickled stubbornly …. even those dinosaurs before evolution recalls!). They tell poo particles (feces) “Hey buddy you better start taking off those snowshoes or else you will have to take them off the hard way!”, and that’s how it gets done.

By softening stools already in the bowel, straining may reduce considerably. It’s a brilliant solution for people who suffer from uncomfortable moments on toilet seats.

So, if you’re dealing with constipation issues but want immediate relief then fear not! Go ahead and soften those old waste materials in your colon because doing so should allow easier expulsion of unpleasant material- without added agonizing efforts!

How fast do stool softeners work?

Another common question that comes up regularly is just how long one must wait before seeing results from this over-the-counter medication?

The good news here is they act surprisingly quickly meaning patients normally are able to experience freedom fairly promptly (depending on dosage perhaps?) – some report improvement within 12 hours while others claim positive outcomes after taking doses several times a day ^(needless to say …better check your goals for prioritising! ).

Given this brief timescale frame – relief can be almost instant making them especially attractive for many busy workers who struggle through their day due to chronic constipation problems. Good slogan right there “Don’t work where you poop!”

Are There Any Side Effects To Stool Softener Usage?

You might expect eating gorgonzola-and-garlic Pizza before falling asleep induces some kind of digestive punishment later-well though as well no need mentioning horrors … ahem back >…

But what about stool laxatives like these – any chance for unfortunate after effects? Let me tell you straight off the bat that yes, all drugs have side effects even if they aren’t consistently experienced by everyone who takes them (our Bodies reflect different chemistry preferences).

Some potential downsides associated with commonly used docusate-based laxatives include:

  • nausea;
  • stomach cramps;
  • diarrhoea.

In rare cases patients reported problems like skin rash, facial swelling and vomiting among other symptoms.

Although these side effects are relatively mild they can nonetheless be a bit of an inconvenience. It’s still important that you read the instructions carefully upon purchase to avoid any unwanted circumstances!

How often Can You Take Stool Softeners?

Now, let’s get analytical regarding the limits when taking laxatives – Just how frequent stool softener intake be considered safe and healthy?

Recommendations on this subject vary depending on which harbringers of bowel movement regulation you ask (doctor’s orders over youtube advice here). However, most docusate-based medications advise using as-needed ^(warning: don’t exceed guideline daily doses limit) usage for no more than one week.

It should also indicate time restraint guidance since there is such thing as too much- too much will cause diarrhoea if not regulated sufficiently by responsible use within terms given from purchased units.

But even despite regularity intervals suggested it all comes down to personal preference! Some people prefer metronome-like weekly management vs sudden purging treatment regimentation every once in a while; The aim should always prioritise assessing individual needs rather than following misconceptions or biased opinions.

Stool Softener Recommended Dosage Notes
Colace 50mg to 300mg daily Keep hydrated
Docusate Sodium Higher dosage up to around 500mg per day Not recommended for children (<6y/o)
Mineral Oil +/-15ml (Oral)/Child age/kg ratio

This table highlights recommendations based on typical product dosages – but again speak with your pharmacist first before considering anything so it is in line with current best practice guidelines.


So what have we learned? Well, just because stools are already hardened doesn’t mean there’s no hope for softer bowel movements.

Stool softeners can be very helpful in terms of making the passing of stools significantly easier, so feel free to take them as-needed for relief from discomfort- just mindful to stay within guidelines provided.

Overall, it must be said that docusate medications are a powerful tool in alleviating constipation symptoms – and one that works almost right away with minimum (but possibly existent) side effects; Additionally Docusate may relieve other painful anorectal disorders such as haemorrhoids by easing their passage through swollen veins affected areas (1-in-5 admit who suffers from this / most people won’t but 🤷🏽).

So if you’re struggling to go, don’t delay – add some moisture into your regimen today!

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