How To Use A Rectal Syringe

If you are preparing for certain kinds of surgery, you may need to know how to use a rectal syringe. The rectal syringe is an integral part of the supplies needed for a bowel cleansing, otherwise known as an enema. The rectal syringe consists of a latex or rubber bulb that connects to a narrow, hollow channel that directs water into the colon. Learning how to use a rectal syringe is easy, and you will be a pro at it in no time.

  1. You will need to select your rectal syringe if you don't have one. Rectal syringes come in different combinations of bulb size (from 6 ounces to one quart) and tip size and shape. Some tips are very thin and narrow. Others are wider and may have holes in the sides to allow the water or solution to spray out in different directions. Some have a bulb-like tip to make it easier to operate the rubber bulb hands-free. Once you have your selected syringe, you can begin with the enema.
  2. Detach the tip from the bulb, if it is not already attached. Fill the bulb with warm water or warm saline solution. Whatever you inject into your rectum will be absorbed into your bloodstream, so do not use anything that you wouldn't ingest. Reattach the tip and make sure it is secure before continuing.
  3. Find a comfortable position in which you can reach behind you far enough to insert the tip of the syringe into your anus. Suggested positions include lying on your side with knees bent, sitting on the toilet, or bent over with a person that you trust assisting you.
  4. Gently insert the tip of the rectal syringe into your anus. Wiggle it side to side to find the most comfortable angle of insertion while pushing in the tip. A lubricant is not necessary, but if you are uncomfortable, it could make the process more pleasant.
  5. Slowly squeeze the bulb so that the water or solution can enter the rectum without discomfort. The entire amount of liquid can be squeezed out of the bulb, as the colon is not a closed area and the liquid can continue moving. Once all the liquid has been transferred into your body, wait from two to fifteen minutes and wait until the urge to release it is strong before letting it out into the toilet.


Some enema kits suggest using 100% mineral oil instead of water or saline. Using these enemas more than once in 24 hours can be harmful to your health.

If you are constipated and experience blockage that prevents insertion of the tip, do not continue.

Some rectal syringes may come with a protective tip that should be removed before use.

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