The smell, texture and colour of your stools say a lot about your health

Too hard could mean you need to eat more fibre, too light could mean a lack of bile, but what about mucus in your poo? 

Your body produces mucus for many of its functions and while it does need to come out of your body one way or the other most people are not sure how to feel about finding mucus in their stools.

Should you worry? 

What does ‘normal’ stool look like

Looking back at your stool before you flush is an unpleasant yet very important habit. Checking the shape, colour and noting the experience can help you recognise ill health or bad diet habits. 

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A healthy stool should not be difficult or painful to get out, it should move naturally and predictably. 

A healthy and normal stool is sausage-shaped and can be smooth or have cracks on the surface. Although there can be more than one deposit, they should be a reasonable size and not like small pellets. 

Normal stool does not have visible mucus in it even after you wipe.

How the body gets rid of mucus

Mucus is one of the bodies least celebrated defences. Mucus is that has been used by the body is expels through the nose and mouth usually by coughing, sneezing and blowing your nose. 

While mucus can be swallowed (and the bacteria it may be carrying will be killed by stomach acids), this mucus is not likely noticeable in your stools. 

The mucus you be seeing in your stools is more likely produced in your digestive tract as a reaction to digestive disturbances or illness. 

What mucus in your stools means

Mucus is produced by the body to protect itself. Mucus in your digestive tract could be produced to protect the delicate tissue in the tract from abrasive acids caused by illness, bowel obstructions and infections from viruses, bacteria or fungus that could be in your digestive system. 

Noticing mucus in your stools could be a sign that your body needs to protect itself from conditions like Chron’s disease, cystic fibrosis, infections or that your body is trying to lubricate itself to avoid injury during bowel movements when you have anal fissures (tearing) or fistulas 



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While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.