Enema Administration

Enema Administration - NU Hospitals

What is soap water enema administration?

A solution in which a soap jelly is mixed into tap water and administered into the rectum with the help of a tube to stimulate evacuation of stools.

Items required

  • An enema can with tubing
  • Lubricant jelly
  • Prepared enema solution (Soap jelly + Tap water) as taught to you by clinical nurse
  • Foley catheter


  • Bedpan
  • Syringe 20 cc with clean tap water

Preparation of soap jelly

One full bar soap of brand name 501 (other soaps do not dissolve as well) is cut into small pieces in 1 liter of tap water. This is thoroughly mixed and boiled till the whole solution becomes a paste form. Store the soap jelly paste in a plastic container. If affordable, use commercially available soap solutions at same ratios

Position and procedure

  • Wash the catheter, an enema can with soap and water
  • Connect enema tubing to the enema can and close it.
  • Take the required volume of prepared enema solution in the enema can as instructed by your clinical nurse.
  • Release the tubing and flush out the air and close it
  • Take a comfortable position
  • Left side (left leg to be kept straight and right leg folded towards the abdomen) if done by attendants
  • Sitting (semi-sitting with both knees folded) if self-administered
  • Apply lubricant jelly at the catheter tip
  • Separate the buttocks with nondominant hand and hold the catheter with the dominant hand. Slowly insert the catheter into the rectum by using index finger as a guide. Insert catheter inside rectum for about 5 cm
  • Connect enema tubing to the catheter
  • Hold the buttocks together
  • The enema can be 45 cm above the waist level to facilitate the solution to drain by gravity. Release the tubing and administer the solution completely
  • Remove the catheter slowly by separating the buttocks
  • Lie down flat on the back to retain enema solution (as if holding the stools) for 10-15 min
  • Then go to the toilet to pass a motion


  • Observe the quantity and type of stool passed.
  • Clean the tube, an enema can and catheter with water
  • Store the catheter and enema can in a clean place
  • A catheter can be used for 15 days unless any breakage or discoloration is found

Additional instruction

If the leak was noted during the training, remember to do the following

  • Instill tap water into the balloon infusion limb of Foley catheter and apply gentle traction as told by the nurse (the quantity of water to be instilled will be told by a nurse and each balloon has a maximum capacity, and please do not exceed this volume)
  • Instill the soap water solution and hold the catheter for 15-20 min
  • Deflate the Foley balloon by connecting the syringe to the balloon infusion limb of the catheter. Once the balloon is fully deflated, then withdraw the catheter

Contact your Urologist if

  • Leak persists after inflating the balloon
  • There is abdominal pain after administering the enema


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