How to Use Fleet Enemas Prior to a Prostate Biopsy

Female hands in latex gloves
Hands putting on latex gloves (Image: Paket/iStock/Getty Images)

A Fleet enema is a commercially prepared solution of sodium biphosphate and sodium phosphate packaged in an administration kit, according to Drugs. com. Fleet enemas are used to clear the bowel before a prostate biopsy because the biopsy needle is inserted through the rectum, according to the University of Wisconsin Hospital. The enema solution pulls water into the bowel and stimulates the defecation reflex, according to Carol Taylor, R.N., Ph.D., author of "Nursing Fundamentals."

Step 1

Examine the package and the kit to ensure that you have the correct medication. Read the instructions carefully.

Step 2

Spread a large towel or waterproof pad on the bed or on the floor.

Step 3

Lie on your left side on the pad or towel, and bend your knees.

Step 4

Put the gloves on your hands.

Step 5

Remove the applicator cap and discard it.

Step 6

Apply additional lubricant to the tip of the applicator if desired and insert the tip into your rectum.

Step 7

Push the enema contents into your rectum by slowly compressing the collapsible container. If you administer the enema too quickly, your body may not be able to retain it long enough to clean your bowel.

Step 8

Remove the applicator tip from your rectum and discard the entire kit.

Step 9

Remain lying down for two to 15 minutes, until you feel the urge to have a bowel movement. Hold the solution for as long as possible for best results.

Step 10

Move to the toilet and expel the contents of your bowels.

Things You'll Need

  • Fleet enema kit

  • Towel or waterproof pad

  • Lubricant, if desired

  • Disposable gloves

Tip

Follow your doctor's instructions regarding diet and fluid restrictions, if any, before the procedure.

Avoid dehydration when using a Fleet enema. If you are allowed to have fluids before the procedure, drink at least 8 oz. of water before taking the enema, according to Drugs. com.

If the enema does not work, contact your doctor's office for further guidance. You should not take a second enema without specific instructions to do so.

If you have hemorrhoids, you may want to apply additional lubricant to the tip of the applicator.

There is no need to warm the enema before administering it.

Warning

Do not drink the enema solution. It can only be administered by rectum.

Seek emergency medical attention if you experience symptoms of an allergic reaction, including difficulty breathing, hives or facial swelling, according to Drugs.com.

Be aware of the possible side effects of the Fleet enema, including stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, bloating, headache or dizziness.

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