Medical Q&As

Frequency of bowel movement?

How many bowel motions per day is considered to be normal? I've had three or four for some time back, but I get the impression that some people think this a lot.

Many people get hung up about the frequency of their bowel movements. In the past it was quite common for children to be given laxatives on a regular basis in order to ensure regular defaecation. Such practice is now frowned upon. Some people go several times a day whereas others go once every few days. In your case going three or four times a day might be more often than most people but could still be normal for you. The crucial medical consideration is does this level of bowel movement represent a change from your usual pattern? Change in bowel habit would certainly warrant assessment but since you say that this pattern has been present for some time I think we can take it that this pattern is normal for you.