How to Take an Enema. Enemas are a healthy and safe way to treat constipation and promote good digestive health. Learning to take an enema is easy, but since you're dealing with a delicate part of your body and risking exposure to human waste, it's important to know the right way to do it.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Anal lubricant
- A complete enema kit, including enema bag and enema nozzle
Prepare for your enema by making sure you have the right equipment on hand. If you're taking a water bottle or steel can enema, you'll need a stand or hook to hang it from. To ensure the proper flow and pressure, make sure the enema fluid is suspended 18 to 24 inches above your rectum.
Mix your desired cleansing solution and funnel it into your enema bottle. Water should be 36.1 to 40.5 degrees C. This will prevent cramping or scalding of your bowels.
Lubricate your rectum prior to inserting the enema nozzle. Popular lubricants include K-Y Jelly, Astroglide and vaseline. Gently insert a fingertip into your lubricated anus before attempting to take the enema nozzle.
Select a comfortable position and insert the enema nozzle. The most common position when taking an enema alone is to lie on your left side while drawing your right leg towards your stomach. If you have assistance, try resting on your hands and knees with your buttocks raised.
Open the enema valve and allow the cleansing solution to enter the bowels. Once the enema bag has been emptied, remove the nozzle from your rectum and remain in position.
Retain the cleansing solution in your bowels for 5 to 15 minutes. This might be slightly uncomfortable, but it's a necessary step. The longer you're able to hold the solution, the farther into your bowels it will be able to cleanse.
Evacuate your bowels. You will discharge a mixture of cleansing fluid and fecal matter. Expect to make frequent trips to the bathroom for up to an hour after taking an enema.
Thoroughly clean all your enema supplies. Take the time to flush each tube with soapy water. Make sure the enema equipment is dry before storing.
Tips and warnings
- Try adding soap to your enema solution for extra cleansing power. Castile soap, Dove or Ivory are all mild enough to be used safely in an enema. Do not use laundry or dish soaps. You'll need to immediately follow a soap enema by taking a plain water enema to cleanse any soap residue from your bowels.