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Sean Cate
Sean Cate
June 20, 2024 ·  3 min read

How Many Times You Should Poop Per Day? Experts Weigh In

Poop happens. It’s part of life for everyone, but it isn’t something that needs to happen every day. This common misconception can cause unnecessary concern amongst differing parties. According to gastroenterologist Dr. Folasade May from UCLA, there’s bowel movements can fluctuate a bit, and that is totally normal.¹ Frequency varies greatly among individuals, and understanding what’s typical for your body is key to maintaining digestive health.

Tips for Healthy Bowel Movements

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Eating enough fiber and staying hydrated are fundamental to maintaining healthy bowel movements. The US Food and Drug Administration recommends at least 25 grams of fiber daily.² Foods like kiwis and prunes can be particularly helpful in getting you to poop. Additionally, caffeinated beverages like coffee can stimulate bowel contractions, promoting regularity.

Read More: Man’s Bowels ‘Fall Out of His Body’ After Coughing and Sneezing While Eating Breakfast

Physical Activity

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Exercise is another critical factor. Physical activity helps stimulate peristalsis, the internal intestinal movement that propels digested food through the digestive tract. Sedentary lifestyles, on the other hand, can slow down this process, leading to constipation.

Bathroom Habits

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Using a toilet stool or a stack of books to elevate your knees above your hips can help facilitate bowel movements by relaxing the pelvic floor muscles. This posture mimics the natural squatting position, which can make it easier to poop.

Assessing Stool Quality

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When evaluating bowel health, the consistency and appearance of your stool are more important than frequency. The Bristol Stool Chart classifies stools into seven types, with types three and four (sausage-shaped with cracks on the surface or smooth and snake-like) being the healthiest. Dr. Camilleri emphasizes how your poop looks is a better indicator of bowel health than simply counting bowel movements.

Read More: A Major Cause of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Has Been Discovered

What is Normal Frequency?

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Historically, it was believed that having a daily bowel movement was essential for good health, a notion stemming from Victorian-era medical beliefs. Dr. Michael Camilleri from the Mayo Clinic notes that this isn’t necessarily true. Most people fall somewhere between having a bowel movement up to three times a day to three times a week, which is considered normal.

When to See a Doctor

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If you experience significant changes in your pooping habits or symptoms such as blood in your stool, severe abdominal pain, or prolonged constipation, it’s important to seek medical advice. Chronic issues like inflammatory bowel disease or hypothyroidism can affect bowel regularity and may require medical intervention.

The Role of Stress and Social Factors

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Stress can significantly impact bowel movements. Hormonal changes and nervous system responses to stress can either accelerate or delay bowel movements, leading to conditions like diarrhea or constipation. Additionally, social factors such as embarrassment about pooping in public can lead to irregular bowel habits.

Conclusion: Personalizing Your Bowel Routine

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Ultimately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to how many times you should poop per day. The key is understanding what is normal for your body and maintaining a routine that promotes overall digestive health. Consulting with a healthcare provider can help address any concerns and ensure that your bowel habits support your well-being.

Read More: Woman Thought She Had a UTI, But Ended Up Having Bowel Cancer, and Now She’s Warning Others Not to Dismiss Symptoms.


  1. How often should you poop? The answer might not be what you think.” CNN.  Kristen Rogers. December 17, 2023
  2. How Many Times Should You Poop a Day?Healthline. Rachel Nall, MSN, CRNA. March 27, 2023.