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How to use an enema*

There are two positions that you may use for using an enema:

  • Lie on your side with the bottom leg straight and the upper leg bent up towards your chest.
  • Kneel with the head and chest lowered to rest on the bed.

Once you have found a comfortable position, follow these steps:

Remove the protective tip from the enema bottle.
Gently insert the enema nozzle into the rectum, with the tip pointing towards the navel. If this causes pain, or if you are having trouble inserting the enema tip, stop. Do not force the enema tip into the rectum – this could cause injury. Pull out the nozzle and try inserting again. Some enema nozzles are pre-lubricated. If the nozzle is not pre-lubricated, you may wish to lubricate it before inserting.
Once the nozzle is comfortably inserted into the rectum, empty the enema container slowly. Squeeze the container from the end, until almost all of the liquid is gone. Don’t worry about emptying the container completely because it is designed to contain extra liquid.
Remove the enema tip from the rectum.
Wait, then evacuate your bowels by having a bowel movement. The amount of time that you should wait before having a bowel movement depends on the product being used. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to find out how long to wait before having a bowel movement.
If you do not have a bowel movement after using the enema, or if you have bleeding from the rectum, stop using the enema and consult your doctor.

*This information is intended to provide general instructions for the use of an enema. Instructions may vary for different products. If these instructions are different from those given by your doctor or pharmacist, check with your doctor or pharmacist to confirm how you should be using the product. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for specific information about your particular medication.

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