Medical Specialty >> Pediatrics

Doctors Lounge - Pediatrics Answers

Back to Pediatrics Answers List

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Doctors Lounge ( does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Site.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician. Please read our 'Terms and Conditions of Use' carefully before using this site.

Date of last update: 9/9/2017.

Forum Name: Pediatric Topics

Question: 3 Year Old Refuses to Defecate

 JPM - Sun Dec 25, 2005 10:39 pm

My 3 year old little girl refuses to defecate and will hold it for days on end. Any time that we put her on the potty she screams and cries. My wife and I have talked to our pediatrician and he told us to not give her a suppository and to sit her on the potty for 15 minutes a day. This has not worked so far. She has held it for so long now that she will sit on the toilet screaming and crying for an hour or so and not let it out. We think she has developed a small hemmoroid and a bladder infection. She says it burns when she urinates now. She will hold her urine for a long time as well. We just don't know what else to do to get her to realize that she must go to the bathroom. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

 Dr. Heba Ismail - Fri Dec 30, 2005 2:02 pm

Obviously it's become painful for her to defecate as well. It may be due to the hemorrhoids or due to anal fissures from prolonged constipation where the stools become very hard and so cause injury to the rectum and anus.
First of all, try to make her diet mainly a soft diet with plenty of fluids in order to loosen those stools.
Then there are local anaesthetic creams which your doctor can consider.
He may also wish to consider laxatives, at least temporarily until the pain disappears.
She will need a urine analysis to exclude infection. Urine retention may accompany constipation and predispose to bladder infection.
Lastly, you may need to see a pediatric surgeon for the hemorrhoids.

| Check a doctor's response to similar questions

Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?

Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community

  • Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.

  • Ask a Doctor Teams: Respond to patient questions and discuss challenging presentations with other members.

Doctors Lounge Membership Application

Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us