How to do an enema: 13 steps (with pictures)

How to do an enema: 13 steps (with pictures)
How to do an enema: 13 steps (with pictures)

An enema may be needed if you have chronic constipation or if you are looking for a way to treat bowel problems, to detoxify your body, or if you are preparing for bowel surgery. If after seeing your doctor you are confident that an enema can help, it is safe to prepare a solution that will help you pass your stool comfortably. All you need is table salt, hot water, and clean supplies.


For the saline solution

  • 2 teaspoons (10 g) of table salt
  • 1 liter of tap water or distilled water
  • 2 to 6 teaspoons (10 to 30 ml) of glycerin (optional)
  • Prescription medication (if necessary)

Makes it possible to obtain 1 l of saline solution


Method 1 of 2: Prepare a saline enema

Make an Enema Step 1

Step 1. Pour 1 liter of hot water into a large, clean bottle

Find a sterile bottle large enough to hold the water, then pour 1 L of hot tap water directly into it.

  • To sterilize the bottle, boil it for 5 minutes in water or put it in the dishwasher at the hottest temperature available.
  • Although tap water is safe to use, you can also use distilled water.
  • The water should be at a comfortable temperature, somewhere between 37 and 40 ° C.
Make an Enema Step 2

Step 2. Add 2 teaspoons of table salt

Use a measuring spoon to pour about 10g of table salt directly into the hot water bottle. It is important not to visually measure the amount of salt to avoid a wrong dosage of the solution.


you should never prepare a saline enema with Epsom salt. This can lead to an extreme imbalance of magnesium in your body, which can be fatal.

Make an Enema Step 3

Step 3. Close the bottle

Make sure the cap is screwed on to prevent any leaks, then shake the bottle vigorously to completely dissolve the salt. It should take about 30 seconds.

The saline solution will be clear because there is very little salt compared to water

Make an Enema Step 4

Step 4. Pour the solution into the enema bag

Your doctor should tell you how much saline to use, but usually for an adult, 450 ml of the solution will be needed.

Children 6 to 12 years old should receive 250 ml of saline solution, while children 2 to 6 years old should receive 180 ml


instead of saline, you can use pure mineral oil to soften the stool and lubricate your colon. Buy a bottle of 130 ml or pour this amount of oil into the enema bag. If you are treating a 2 to 6 year old child, use half that amount.

Make an Enema Step 5

Step 5. Add glycerin to the enema bag

If your doctor recommends it, you will need to add glycerin or a prescription medicine to the enema bag. 2 to 6 teaspoons (10 to 30 ml) of glycerin or prescription medicine will increase the laxative effect of the solution and help you treat bowel disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease or ulcerative colitis.

Follow the doctor's recommendations when adding these medications to the enema bag. You may need to hold them for longer or use them at specific times of the day

Method 2 of 2: Safe Enema

Make an Enema Step 6

Step 1. Ask your doctor for advice before giving yourself an enema

Your doctor may recommend an enema for a variety of reasons. For example, in severe constipation, because the enema stimulates the intestines to pass stool. He may also prescribe it for you if you have planned bowel surgery.

If you have planned bowel surgery, you will need an enema about 2 hours before the procedure

Make an Enema Step 7

Step 2. Ask your doctor for a dosage recommendation

If your doctor thinks you can do an enema at home, ask him or her to prescribe a specific type of enema, how much fluid to use, and how often.

It is important to follow your doctor's recommendations carefully, as frequent enemas can damage your colon and may be addictive

Make an Enema Step 8

Step 3. Use a sterile enema kit to prevent infections

It is essential to use sterile tools for each enema. You can buy a kit containing a sterile enema bag, a tube and a cannula. Depending on the kit, you may also have lubricant.

You can buy enema kits at drugstores, medical supply stores, or on the Internet

Make an Enema Step 9

Step 4. Give yourself an enema

Hang the enema bag on a hook about 12 to 18 inches above your rectum or have someone hold it there for you. This will allow the liquid to drain easily. Cover the skin around your anus and the enema bag cannula with anal lubricant or Vaseline. Lie on your side and bring your legs closer to your chest, then insert about 7.5 cm from the end of the cannula into your anus. Open the faucet on the bag to allow the solution to flow into your colon.

If you have trouble inserting the cannula, try doing it in a squatting position

Make an Enema Step 10

Step 5. Hold the saline solution for 15 minutes

Stay in the same position and wait at least 5 minutes. When the enema starts to take effect, you will feel the urge to go to the bathroom. If you experience cramps in your abdomen, try to relax and breathe slowly.

If you added glycerin to the solution, you will need to hold the solution for almost 60 minutes

Make an Enema Step 11

Step 6. Expel the solution to the toilet

When you feel the urge to have a bowel movement, go to the toilet and sit on the toilet. It may take a while for the stool and solution to come out, so don't worry if you sit for a while before passing anything out.

Stay on the toilet until the urge to pass stools has worn off

Make an Enema Step 12

Step 7. Know the risks of home enemas

Common side effects of the enema include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps or pain. In rare cases, you risk a perforation of the colon or a serious imbalance of electrolytes. Therefore, you should only give yourself an enema if your doctor recommends it.

If you are unsure about the risks of having an enema at home, ask your doctor if it is possible for you to have it in the hospital

Make an Enema Step 13

Step 8. Do not use home remedies in your enemas

You've probably heard of coffee, milk, or vinegar enemas. Unfortunately, these practices can introduce dangerous bacteria into your colon or cause an electrolyte imbalance and should never be used. You should also avoid giving yourself an enema with any of the ingredients below:

  • lemon juice;
  • alcohol;
  • Garlic;
  • aloe;
  • thistle;
  • mineral water;
  • wild plants;
  • turpentine.


Although you have probably heard of a soap solution enema, research has shown it to be safe only in an emergency in a hospital setting.


If you don't feel like making your own enema solution, you can buy a ready-to-use phosphate enema at the drugstore. Phosphate solutions are safe to use on children as long as you stick to the doses recommended by the manufacturer


  • You should not use any food products or home remedies (such as milk, lemon, herbal tea, or coffee) for your enemas. They can cause serious health problems for you.
  • Do not use plain water for your enemas because you need salt to cleanse your colon. This will soften the stool and make it easier to pass.

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