Colonoscopy-prep butt care
July 7, 2022 1:50 PM   Subscribe

How do I best pamper my poor bottom during colonoscopy prep? Any favorite TP brands? Creams? How often and when did you apply it? The doctor's instructions coyly suggest "Use the good stuff!" (meaning soft toilet paper), but not much else.

My wife has done two colonoscopies, but this is my first -- so I am aware of the basics. I am not afraid, I just don't want to ruin my poor bottom (she buys cheap TP!) and have it be painful.

We have a septic tank, so I can't flush wipes. But beyond that, my ears are open for any advice.

The appointment is next week, so I can go shopping this weekend before I am bricked up into the bathroom on Monday afternoon with my Gatorade.
posted by wenestvedt to Health & Fitness (27 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Wipes are where it's at, baby wipes without scent, so get a small trash can with a tight cover and put it next to the toilet for your used wipes. Plain old vaseline or A&D ointment work great for sore butt.
posted by mareli at 2:03 PM on July 7, 2022 [7 favorites]

Yep you don’t need anything fancy, just wipes and Vaseline. Find a way to use and then bin wipes if you can’t flush them.
posted by penguin pie at 2:05 PM on July 7, 2022 [2 favorites]

Wipes, just baby wipes with aloe if you can find them. Small sealed trash can or a large ziplock for disposal. A&D ointment or Prep H can help relive some of the irritation or soreness. During a prep like this, or if you've ever had a bad stomach flu or the like, a bidet in lieu of TP is an absolute blessing, especially if it's warm water.
posted by xedrik at 2:12 PM on July 7, 2022 [2 favorites]

For less than $100 you can get a pretty decent add-on bidet attachment for your toilet. Go for one with heated water. For a bit more you can get one with a dryer (optional but nice).

The downside, if you consider it such, is that once you get used to using a bidet, having a bowel movement without using a bidet afterwards may make you feel filthy in a way you never recognized before.
posted by Lexica at 2:13 PM on July 7, 2022 [16 favorites]

Best answer: I do something called "thanking the butt for its service" which is buy a nice bottle of witch hazel (a nice kind with aloe, cucumber, rose water, what have you) put a little bit on the toilet paper & gently go at it til it's clean. The witch hazel helps keep it clean & reduces inflammation.
posted by bleep at 2:13 PM on July 7, 2022 [5 favorites]

As someone who has to have a colonoscopy yearly, here's some things that have helped me:
- Definitely wipes!
-Softest TP you can find, I like Cottonelle but it's your preference
- I didn't have a bidet, but after I wiped (and at one point, it's just yellow liquid that comes out - sorry TMI) I will take a bottom shower. I had a removable shower head but regular bottom showers work too. The warm water is very soothing.
- Aquaphor, vaseline, etc after bottom shower
- When I really had a bad time, I bought these satin/silk mens boxers that were looser and sat in those, sometimes with an ice pack or hot pack underneath me bottom. It just felt nice.
- I will sometimes try a liquid-ish diet a couple of days beforehand to just make the pooping a little more tolerable when the actual prep time comes.
posted by buttonedup at 2:20 PM on July 7, 2022 [2 favorites]

I did absolutely nothing different down there. My regular brand of TP, and soap and water in the shower. No pain during the procedure because drugs, and none after. I dunno, maybe I've got a cast-iron butt or something.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 2:32 PM on July 7, 2022 [3 favorites]

Here to +1 a bidet. They really are the best. Your butt will thank you.
posted by mezzanayne at 2:42 PM on July 7, 2022

+1 on thanking your butt. My butt thanks me all the time for thanking it 6 years ago by purchasing our Toto Washlet.

Money well spent!
posted by nandaro at 2:46 PM on July 7, 2022

Cheaper than a bidet attachment is a peri bottle. They are really great for postpartum care but anybody can use them. My bathroom is arranged so my toilet is within reach of my tub tap so if I think I want to use my peri bottle I turn the tub on to get the water warm and then sit down. Then I fill the bottle and it can hang out for a good while after that without loosing much warmth. Just flip it, position where you need it and squeeze. Awesome for menstrual cleanup without using wipes, and why I keep one around, but also it’s come in clutch during bouts of stomach flu. I use the good TP but warm water is infinitely better. You can find peri bottles in many drug stores and pharmacies or online.
posted by Mizu at 2:47 PM on July 7, 2022 [8 favorites]

I also did nothing special for the procedure. I drank the stuff they gave me and probably 75% of everything was evacuated within 20 minutes. It was really fast—be ready. After a couple hours, there was nothing more coming out. TP, then soap and water in the shower. I had no irritation of any kind from the prep or after the procedure. It was extremely easy.
posted by SoberHighland at 3:46 PM on July 7, 2022 [3 favorites]

Just get a bidet. You need one anyway. They're less than a hundred bucks and you'll live a better life ever after.
posted by HotToddy at 3:49 PM on July 7, 2022 [3 favorites]

I blotted normally with normal TP. Then, before bed, I showered, using the mobile showerhead set at a direct stream and a couple of degrees above warm. Let it massage the area in question. I didn't suffer any discomfort.
posted by mule98J at 4:40 PM on July 7, 2022 [1 favorite]

A dab of vaseline after every poop.
posted by theora55 at 4:40 PM on July 7, 2022 [2 favorites]

Nthing a bidet. I use a hand held squeeze one, and it is fantastic.
posted by spinifex23 at 4:50 PM on July 7, 2022

My butt didn't get sore. Maybe yours won't either?
posted by SageTrail at 5:31 PM on July 7, 2022

Just had my third colonoscopy and first since we got a bidet attachment, and it made a world of difference. Count me as another vote for a bidet. We use this one and it's lifechangingly good.
posted by pdb at 5:48 PM on July 7, 2022 [1 favorite]

If your actual butthole gets irritated and bleeds, this stuff is great.
posted by MadamM at 6:43 PM on July 7, 2022 [1 favorite]

Recently had my eighth colonoscopy! As soon as I take the prep - before even evacuating - I slather Vaseline on my butthole and after each evacuation reapply. I didn’t do this one year and oh my god, the burning! Lesson learned. Also, dab, don’t wipe.
posted by Sassyfras at 9:20 PM on July 7, 2022 [1 favorite]

If you have hair around your butthole you can make things easier for yourself and for your colonoscopist by shaving prior to your prep.
posted by Winnie the Proust at 6:47 AM on July 8, 2022 [1 favorite]

Wipes yes! and while Vaseline and A&D Ointment are good, the Cadillac of buttcream is Balmex (usually in the baby aisle)
posted by mmf at 10:49 AM on July 8, 2022 [1 favorite]

For my last colonoscopy, the doc coated the scope with lidocaine to reduce any pain. (This may be standard procedure, don't know.) Anyway, I asked them for the unused lidocaine (which they would have thrown away) and took it home with me, for use later if needed. Or, you can buy your own lidocaine at any drugstore.
posted by JimN2TAW at 3:56 PM on July 8, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Witchhazel. Dab some on a fold of toilet paper, and dab your bottom after the prep has started you "going". It takes away the sting. If I thought earlier, I may have put witchhazel in a peri bottle and squirted myself - my bottom did get very sore from the prep working.

After the procedure - felt like nothing had happened and didn't need to do anything special.
posted by annieb at 4:27 PM on July 8, 2022 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: OK, witch hazel proved to be the best answer for me. THANK YOU, bleep & annieb!!!

My college-age son borrowed my car so I wasn't able to get to the store for Balmex (which I remember from when we had babies around the house). And there was no way I was going to buy a bidet just for this -- but I do already have witch hazel as an after-shave toner, and it was perfect.

I am not sore at all today, and the procedure itself was painless. Honestly, spending so long in the bathroom and having my legs fall asleep was far worse than the hazy half-hour on the table. :7)

Thanks, everyone!
posted by wenestvedt at 10:36 AM on July 13, 2022 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Also:
MetaFilter: dab, don’t wipe.
posted by wenestvedt at 10:37 AM on July 13, 2022 [2 favorites]

It's what I always say about colonoscopy: the prep is hell, but the drugs are great. Glad to hear all went well!
posted by The Underpants Monster at 1:47 PM on July 13, 2022 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Eponysterical, if I may!
posted by wenestvedt at 5:27 PM on July 13, 2022 [3 favorites]

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