How Long Should It Take You to Have a Bowel Movement?

The short answer from a colorectal surgeon

How Long Should It Take You to Have a Bowel Movement?

Q: I’m concerned it’s taking me too long to poop. Exactly how long is normal?

A: The first thing you need to do is leave your phone outside the bathroom. Don’t take the newspaper, your book, your iPhone or any other device in there with you. The bathroom is meant for one reason and one reason only — and that’s to empty your bladder and have a proper bowel movement.

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What that means is if you have a proper diet with good fiber and enough water intake, your bowel movements should be a very short occurrence.

You should be able to sit down on the toilet (with minimal straining, if any), and within a few minutes you should be done going to the bathroom.

Five minutes really should be the maximum time you spend in the bathroom.

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― Colorectal surgeon Michael Valente, DO

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