Birth Definitions

Enema Definition


An enema is a medical procedure whereby liquids are injected into the rectum and colon in order to stimulate evacuation. It is commonly used as a preparation for medical procedures such as a colonoscopy. In the pregnancy and birthing industry, enemas are sometimes used as a means of cleansing the rectum and colon before labor.

There are several types of enemas, but the most common involves adding water or saline solution to the rectum via a small tube. The solution then causes the bowel to contract and expel its contents. Enemas can also be done with herbs, coffee, or other substances.

Enemas can be performed at home with over-the-counter kits, but it is important to follow instructions carefully to avoid complications. In general, enemas are considered safe, but there are some risks associated with the procedure. These include electrolyte imbalance, dehydration, and intestinal perforation.

Enemas should not be confused with douching, which is a similar procedure that is performed vaginally. Douching is not recommended during pregnancy as it can increase the risk of infection.

This image shows how often the term ‘Enema’ is used in relation to other, similar birth terms:

Other Related Terms

Other terms related to enemas include:

Fleet enema: A type of enema that uses a premixed solution of sodium phosphate and distilled water. It is available over-the-counter and considered safe for use during pregnancy.

Soap-suds enema: An enema solution made with soap and water. It can be used to relieve constipation or prepare for a medical procedure. However, soap suds enemas are no longer recommended for pregnant women due to the risk of dehydration and electrolyte imbalance.

Cleansing enema: A type of enema that is used to cleanse the rectum and colon. It is sometimes used before labor to reduce the risk of infection.

Herbal enema: An enema solution made with herbs, such as chamomile or lavender. Herbal enemas are not recommended during pregnancy as they can cause uterine contractions.

Coffee enema: An enema solution made with coffee. Coffee enemas are not recommended during pregnancy as they can cause dehydration and electrolyte imbalance.

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