Constipation is a very common condition that affects people of all ages. It can mean that you are not passing stools (faeces) as often as you normally do, have to strain more than usual or are unable to completely empty your bowels. Constipation may be related to lifestyle and may be treated by simple measures and medications to alter this or simple medications. It may also be related to medical problems (such as underactive thyroid) or a side effect of medication. In some patients the cause is an abnormal bowel function (motility) or pelvic floor disorder. Some patients have a slow transit (lazy bowel) whilst others can have a problem with actually expelling stool from the rectum (obstructed defaecation). Investigation involves careful assessment of patients to identify those who need further investigation with radiology (x-ray or scans) or perhaps a telescopic examination of the bowel. Treatments are individually tailored to patients starting with conservative methods such as dietary measures, medication or bowel retraining (biofeedback). Patients with obstructed defaecation may benefit from surgical correction.