An enema is a medical technique that involves the insertion of a liquid solution into the rectum via the anus for a variety of reasons, including constipation relief, colon cleansing preparatory to a medical procedure, or medicine administration straight to the gastrointestinal tract.

Depending on the desired goal, the fluid used in an enema can include water, saline solution, mineral oil, or laxative solutions. Enemas are usually delivered with the help of a specialised instrument, such as a bulb syringe or a bag enema kit, which allows for the controlled injection of fluids into the rectum.

While enemas can be a useful treatment for constipation and other diseases, they should only be used under the supervision of a healthcare expert because misuse can lead to consequences such as electrolyte imbalances, dehydration, and reliance.

a clay fog sitting on a pot and a doctor standing by to administer enema

Enemas are classified into following types:

Cleansing enemas

are used to clear out the colon in order to treat constipation or preparation for a medical procedure. They are usually given in significant quantities of fluid, such as water, saline, or mineral oil. Cleansing enemas can further be subdivided into two parts :

Cleansing Enema with a high volume.

It is an excellent constipation therapy because it cleanses a big portion of the colon. This sort of fluid contains 500-1,000 ml. The doctors may instruct you to retain the fluid in your anal orifice for an extended period of time in order to totally expel the faeces.

Cleansing Enema with a limited volume.

It is used to clean the colon’s bottom section. The volume of fluid used is less than 500 ml. It is indicated for persons who do not have constipation in the upper region of their colon.

Retention enemas

are intended to stay in the colon for an extended amount of time, usually 15-30 minutes. They are commonly used to deliver medications straight to the gastrointestinal tract. Retention enemas are often performed with a lower volume of fluid, such as a medicine solution.

Classification Based on Solutions :

There are also various subtypes of enemas based on the solutions used, each with a distinct purpose. The following are some examples of common enemas:

Sodium phosphate enemas: These enemas act by pulling water into the colon, softening stool and encouraging bowel motions.

Bisacodyl enemas contain a stimulant laxative that helps to stimulate the muscles of the colon, promoting bowel movements.

Mineral oil enemas: These enemas operate by lubricating the stool, which helps it pass more easily.

Enemas containing barium: These enemas are used to see the colon during an X-ray operation. They contain a barium solution, which covers the colon lining and makes it visible on X-rays.

Contrast enemas: Similar to barium enemas, but with a different type of contrast fluid. Contrast enemas are frequently used to visualise the colon during a CT or MRI scan.

Glycerin enema It causes bowel movements by stimulating the lining of the colon.

Soap from Castile enema : It is a gentle soap created from a variety of oils, including olive oil. This mild soap is mixed with saline solution, which is then administered via enema. This solution causes bowel movements by stimulating it.

Coffee enema : It is a coffee and water mixture used to eliminate bile from the colon.

Enema with return flow :

A return-flow enema, also known as a Harris flush, is performed on persons who have difficulty pooping due to intestinal gas. This approach employs a huge fluid volume that is administered in 100-200 ml increments. The fluid, together with the flatus (intestinal gas), is then pulled out. This procedure is done three to five times until the gas is completely removed.

Enema that cools you down:

If your body temperature is exceptionally high, the doctor may use a cooling enema to lower it. It is an unusual method.

Medication is administered via rectal instillation:

Enemas can also be used to introduce drugs into the colon. The enema soothes the intestinal mucosa, while the medications balance electrolytes and fight infections. This technique is carried out following cleansing enemas.

Instructions To Use

Gather all of the required equipment before you begin, including the enema kit, lube, a towel, and a timer. Use soap and water to thoroughly clean your hands.

Prepare the enema:

To prepare the solution, follow the directions that came with your enema kit. If you’re using a disposable enema kit, the solution is almost certainly already ready.

Choose a comfortable position:

Lie on your left side, knees bent, and right knee slightly bent more. This position facilitates implantation by opening up the rectum.

Lubricate the tip:

generously apply lubricant to the enema nozzle tip. This will make the insertion more pleasant and avoid discomfort.

Insert the enema:

Gently insert the enema nozzle’s lubricated tip into your rectum. A depth of 4-6 inches is ideal. Stop and adjust the nozzle if you meet any resistance.

Apply the solution as follows:

Squeeze the enema container or bag slowly to allow the solution to enter your rectum. You may have cramping or soreness, but it should pass fast.

After the solution has been administered, gently remove the enema nozzle from your rectum.

Try to keep the solution :

in your rectum for as long as possible, ideally 5-15 minutes. This gives the solution time to work and encourages bowel movement.

Expel the solution:

When you have the urge to urinate, sit on the toilet and expel the solution. You may suffer cramping or diarrhoea, which is quite normal.

Other suggestions:

Relax as much as possible: Try to relax as much as possible during the treatment. Tensing might make insertion more difficult and painful.

Deep breathing can assist in relaxing your muscles and making the operation more comfortable.

Make use of a timer. To evacuate the solution, set a timer for 5-15 minutes.

After you’ve finished, properly wash your hands with soap and water.

Disclaimer : Though there are hardly any side effects but a doctor should nevertheless be consulted before administering enema.

Reference : http://www.wikipedia.com