If you buy something through a link on this page, we may earn a small commission. How this works. An enema involves inserting liquid or gas into the rectum, which is the lower part of the large intestine. The aim is to empty the bowels, allow for an examination, or administer medication. An enema can be effective in treating certain medical conditions, but regular enema use can cause serious health problems. Many pharmacies sell enema kits, and these are also available online. Choose one that a healthcare provider has recommended. A kit usually includes a bag or another type of container attached to a tube or nozzle. This container holds a liquid, which may contain an oil or laxative. Anyone with sufficient flexibility in their arms and shoulders to reach behind them should be able to use an enema at home.
Who needs a barium enema?
A barium enema is a procedure that involves our physicians administering a barium enema to outline the large intestine colon and rectum and then taking fluoroscopy x-rays of the area. If you are having a single-contrast study, the barium will be left in your colon while the x-rays are taken. If you have a double-contrast study, the barium will be drained out, leaving a layer clinging to the colon walls. Your colon will then be filled with air before the x-rays are taken.
If there is a possibility of pregnancy please inform the technologist prior to the date of your examination. The preparation is a laxative to empty your digestive tract so that the contents do not obscure the areas to be examined. Please follow the bowel prep instructions provided. This preparation includes the need for you to purchase magnesium citrate and bisacodyl tablets from your pharmacy. A high fluid intake is essential to the success of the exam. You must take a large glass 8 oz. Drink only black coffee, plain tea, strained fruit juice, soft drinks or water. No milk products.
An enema , also known as a clyster , is an injection of fluid into the lower bowel by way of the rectum. In standard medicine, the most frequent uses of enemas are to relieve constipation and for bowel cleansing before a medical examination or procedure;  also, they are employed as a lower gastrointestinal series also called a barium enema ,  to check diarrhea,  as a vehicle for the administration of food, water or medicine, as a stimulant to the general system, as a local application and, more rarely, as a means of reducing temperature,  as treatment for encopresis , and as a form of rehydration therapy proctoclysis in patients for whom intravenous therapy is not applicable. In other contexts, enemas are used by some alternative health therapies, used for enjoyment, chiefly as part of sexual activities, but also in sadomasochism, as well as simply for pleasure, used to intoxicate with alcohol, used to administer drugs for both recreational and religious reasons, and used for punishment. As bowel stimulants, enemas are employed for the same purposes as orally administered laxatives : To relieve constipation ; To treat fecal impaction ; To empty the colon prior to a medical procedure such as a colonoscopy.