The lower part of the trunk of the body, below the chest and above the hips, that contains the stomach, bowel and other abdominal organs.

Anal sphincter

The ring of muscle that controls the opening and closing of the anus.


The opening to the outside of the body at the end of the digestive system. It is where solid waste leaves the body.


The lower part of the digestive system, below the stomach. The colon and rectum are parts of the bowel.


The part of the bowel where faeces are formed and are passed on to the rectum.

Faecal loading

The presence of a large amount of faeces in the rectum.


Also known as motion or stools, this is solid or semi-solid waste material that is passed out of the body through the anus.


The lower part of the abdomen between the hips. The pelvis contains the reproductive organs, bladder and other pelvic organs.

Pelvic floor

A group of muscles that lie across the base of the abdomen. They play an important role in controlling the passing of faeces or urine.

Rectal irrigation

Washing out the rectum with warm water.


The lower part of the bowel, that ends with the anus.


See faeces.

Ulcerative colitis

Inflammation of the colon and rectum.