What are the Rome IV criteria for constipation?

Updated: Jul 05, 2019
  • Author: Marc D Basson, MD, PhD, MBA, FACS; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

According to the Rome IV criteria for constipation, a patient must have experienced at least two of the following symptoms over the preceding three months:

  • Fewer than three spontaneous bowel movements per week
  • Straining for more than 25% of defecation attempts
  • Lumpy or hard stools for at least 25% of defecation attempts
  • Sensation of anorectal obstruction or blockage for at least 25% of defecation attempts
  • Sensation of incomplete defecation for at least 25% of defecation attempts
  • Manual maneuvering required to defecate for at least 25% of defecation attempts

The Rome IV criteria also stipulate that a patient should not meet the suggested criteria for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and that loose stools are rarely present without the use of laxatives.


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