Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Constipation Defined

• The difficult and/or infrequent passage of stools (less than three bowel movements per week). Constipation may be acute or chronic (lasting more than three months), and it may be in response to a variety of physiological, mechanical and medically related factors, including medication use. However, the most common type is functional constipation, for which there is no underlying organic or medically identified cause.

Older Adults
A Proactive Approach to Bowel & Bladder Management in Adults
Background Information