Your poop can tell you a lot about your health. Red in the bowl—which can signal anything from hemorrhoids to colon cancer—is a known red flag. But what if the color is just fine, but it doesn't exactly sink to the bottom of the bowl like normal poop does?It's not exactly common, but we've all probably experienced the floating turd. So what exactly does it mean if your stool is not sinking?Torch fat, get fit, and look and feel great with Women's Health's All in 18 DVD! “A floating stool is simply less dense than a sinking stool,” says gastroenterologist Neil Stollman, M.D. Doctors used to think this resulted from excess fat in the feces, but one study in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests it’s actually extra air. Dr. Stollman says it could probably be either, though air is more likely.Extra air in the stool could come from unabsorbed carbohydrates, like lactose or fiber, which ferment in the colon and release gas, says Dr. Stollman. This may … [Read more...] about Here’s What It Means If Your Poop Floats
Why does poop smell
Credit: iStock.com/hotka Understanding your stools—also known as poop—can help you understand exactly what is going on within your digestive system. You may be justifiably quite startled to see a different color than the common brown, such as an orange stool. What is the healthiest poop color? A healthy bowel movement is one in which your stool (poop) is well-formed, soft, easily passed, medium brown in color, and has an “S” or “C” shape. Any brown shade will often indicate a healthy stool with no digestive or diet problems. What about other stool colors? Red commonly indicates hemorrhoids; black could be bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract; green often means food is moving through the colon too quickly, possibly from diarrhea; and yellow, greasy, and foul-smelling stools can be due to excess fat in the stool, possibly from a malabsorption problem like celiac disease. However, while some colors suggest a potential health issue, an orange … [Read more...] about What Are the Reasons for Orange Stool?
Some might deny it, your S.O. might refuse to believe it, and your girlfriends might only talk about it after a few glasses (or bottles) of wine—but everyone poops. "Pooping might be taboo because of the smells and sounds associated with it," says Sophie Balzora, M.D., gastroenterologist at NYU Langone medical center. Okay, so maybe most people don't want to talk about it—but that doesn't mean you're not curious. Behold, the essential fecal facts your mom never told you. What Poop is Made OfWhen they're alive and well inside your gut, those bacteria help digest most of what you eat and produce stinky gasses like sulfur and methane. Those lovely substances are what make your bowel movements so fragrant, says Sam. Plus, if you eat a lot of fat, a lot of sugar, or raw, hard-to-digest veggies like broccoli or cabbage, that can make those bacteria produce even more gas, which makes the bathroom smell worse than usual, says Sam.For the most part, poop is typically … [Read more...] about Your Definitive Guide to Pooping
When your parents told you about the birds and the bees, we bet they didn’t tell you that a penis up your poop chute could get you preggers.Well, luckily, that’s because about 999,999 times in a million, it can’t. When Brian Steixner, M.D., a urologist with the Jersey Urology Group in Atlantic City, was in med school, though, he witnessed the “lucky” one in a million.One night, a young, pregnant woman came into the emergency department complaining of spotting. While it’s relatively common for women to have light spotting during pregnancy, the blood was coming from her rectum. That—not so common.RELATED: 8 Reasons Why You Can't Poop—And How to Fix ThatThe woman was born with what’s called a cloacal malformation. Meaning: When she was born, she didn’t have a urethra, vagina, and anus. She just had one hole, called a cloaca. (FYI, birds have them.) The condition is incredibly rare, occurring in about one in 25,000 female … [Read more...] about This Woman Got Pregnant from Having Anal Sex
This Sunday marks the 45th anniversary of the first moon landing. All weekend we'll be reminded again about the heroism, the danger, and the one great step for mankind. But as usual, nobody will talk about the pee, the poop, and the boners. That's our job.What follows are the highlights—if you can call them that—of discussions we had with the only two astronauts who didn't hang up on us for behaving like 10-year-olds: retired Air Force Colonel Mike Mullane, who completed three space missions aboard the shuttles Discovery and Atlantis before retiring in 1990, and Leroy Chiao, who flew on three shuttle flights and commanded Expedition 10, where he lived aboard the International Space Station from 2004-05.Men's Health: What's it like going to the bathroom in space?Mike Mullane: There's no way you can use water to collect waste in zero gravity. So, basically, our toilet on shuttle operations is a vacuum cleaner. The urinal looks like a Shop-Vac hose. It has … [Read more...] about What Happens to Your Pee, Poop, and Penis in Space
gastrointestinal (GI) tract deals with the dirty work of your body: digesting food for nutrients and sending out the trash. This noisy, smelly, squishy system includes the esophagus, a 10 inch-long tube; the stomach, a fist-size bag of muscle; 20 feet of small intestine; and 6 feet of large intestine (aka the colon). With no Google map, we're often left wondering what the holdup (or the rush) is in there and why normally dependable routes suddenly cause trouble. But because of the unappealing issues that arise, talking about your own highway problems isn't as easy as discussing rush-hour traffic. "There's definitely embarrassment, and women tend to suffer in silence," says Jacqueline Wolf, M.D., a women's GI disease specialist at Harvard Medical School. Still, considering that digestive problems — from constipation to acid reflux — affect up to 70 million people, we should muster the guts to find out what's going on beneath our navels.How long does it take for food to … [Read more...] about Your Digestive System
A corporate lawyer, Stacy T. often spent 12-hour days at the office — only to come home and slog through another hour or two of housework. "I'd scrub and vacuum while my husband vegged out in front of the TV," the 27-year-old recalls. "My libido took a serious nosedive, but it took me a long time to realize that it wasn't anxiety or hormones." A sink full of dishes, an overflowing trash bin, and a living room that desperately needed straightening were to blame. A whopping 68 million women in the United States — nearly 60 percent — work outside the home. But we still spend at least an hour more each day than men on household tasks like cleaning and caring for children. Even "enlightened" couples may slip into Leave It to Beaver mode at the end of the workday — meaning that she mans the stove and picks up the Star Wars action figures while he puts his feet up, says couples therapist Bonnie Eaker Weil, Ph.D., author of Make Up, Don't Break Up. In one survey more … [Read more...] about Make Time For Sex
Let's face it, nobody's poop smells great, but if you've noticed that yours is even more pungent than normal, it might be a sign that something's going on in your body. (Looking to take back control of your health? Prevention has smart answers—get a FREE book when you subscribe today.)"The odor of BMs always depends on two things: what you eat and the bacteria in the intestinal tract," explains explains Larry Good, M.D., a board-certified gastroenterologist affiliated with Concierge Choice Physicians.RELATED: 6 Ways To Have The Healthiest PoopThere are 10 trillion microorganisms living in the human GI tract. The odor of stool is created by the gases that are produced in the intestine when non-absorbable carbs (fiber) gets fermented. So if your stool seems extra smelly for a day or two, relax: It's probably just something you ate.But what if the smell isn't going away? Then it's worth talking to your doctor, especially if the consistency of your movements has changed as well. … [Read more...] about Why Does Your Poop Smell Worse All of a Sudden?
are a regular and ideally effortless part of life, but we all know this isn’t always the case. Questions about one’s stool are common, whether they be worries about shape or color or just wanting to know why it smells so bad. Hopefully, this article can shed some light on the subject and also help you understand what’s normal, what’s uncommon, and what should be brought to your doctor’s attention. Feces are roughly 75% water and 25% solid waste. The solids are a mixture of dead bacteria and cells, cholesterol, fat, inorganic substances, protein, bile, and indigestible food substances like fiber. The unmistakable scent is from a mixture of chemicals produced by bacteria, such as hydrogen sulfide. The shape and appearance of your stool is partially dependent on how long it remains in the body. When freshly made by the body, stool is far less solid than the version we typically see. As stool is stored in the colon, water is drawn away until it becomes … [Read more...] about Potty Talk: Understanding Feces, Stool, and Bowel Movements
Diarrhea is a disease associated with frequent, unnatural bowel movements than your regular, resulting into loose and watery stools “until you find a treatment matching to the cause.” The reason why I mentioned that is because the disease can occur over different causes, and it is very important to determine them if you are to get healed quickly and through the right treatment. The longer you take to find out the cause and the fitting treatment, the longer it takes to get rid of diarrhea. More often than ever, we’ve heard that eating something that does not agree with the composition of our body or getting a flu are the root causes of diarrhea. But unfortunately, there’s more to what can cause the unpleasant experience to your abdomen. Medications : It may present to you as a complete shock, but yes, there are certain medications (not all) such as antibiotics that can cause havoc in your intestine, leading to unwanted change in bowel movements due to an … [Read more...] about Best Advice for Treating Diarrhea : Prevent it to Deal with it