To diagnose pelvic floor dysfunction or slow-transit constipation, Mayo Clinic doctors usually begin with the following two tests:
- Anorectal manometry. Measures the coordination of the muscles you use to move your bowels.
- GI transit study (scintigraphy). Measures the rate at which material travels through your digestive system. Traditional forms of the test can take five to seven days to complete. With the use of radioactive isotopes, Mayo Clinic's test is able to measure transit time in 24 to 48 hours.
Other tests may sometimes be needed to identify the source of chronic constipation, including one or more of the following:
- Defecography. This test can be done either with X-ray or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Mayo Clinic helped develop and test the MRI version of the test.
- Colonic manometry. A catheter is placed in your colon during a colonoscopy to determine if there are normal contractions in all parts of the colon.
Read more about diagnosis of constipation.