An Ideal #2 May Not Be a #2, Part One

Let’s face it: if guys are talking about poop, it’s normally the butt of a joke—no pun intended. On a serious note, bowel movements may actually be a key gastrointestinal health indicator, so it’s important to know what’s ideal when it comes to your #2.

Luckily, there’s a tool, the Bristol Stool Form Scale, which classifies bowel movements and may help identify possible bowel irregularities, such as constipation. The scale breaks it down with simple numbers.

There are seven types of bowel movements in the scale:

Type 1: Separate, hard, nut-shaped lumps that are hard to pass

Type 2: Sausage-shaped, but lumpy

Type 3: Looks like a fat sausage with cracks on the surface

Type 4: Soft and smooth, like a long, thin sausage or snake

Type 5: Soft blobs with clear-cut edges

Type 6: Fluffy pieces with ragged edges that are easy to pass

Type 7: Entirely liquid, with no solid pieces

(Note: This scale is not a diagnostic tool. Consult your healthcare provider to discuss any symptoms you are having and to determine how to manage your condition. Based on the original Bristol Stool Form Scale, © Rome Foundation 2011.)

Your Bristol Stool Form Scale Poop Score:

Although men strive to be #1 in most areas of their lives, the healthiest scores on the Bristol Stool Form Scale may actually be in the middle of the pack— #3, #4 and #5. If you fall below this range, with type #1 or type #2, your poop may be too hard (and may indicate constipation); if you score higher, with type #6 or type #7, your poop may be too soft (and may indicate diarrhea). Both extremes can also be symptoms of more serious medical conditions, so it is important to have a candid conversation about your bathroom habits with a healthcare provider.

What’s a man to do when his bowel movements aren’t up to par?

In our next post (An Ideal #2 May Not Be a #2, Part Two) we will go over the different reasons why your bowel movements might not be on par and some steps you can take that may help with your #2.



For more information, visit

This program was supported by Actavis and Ironwood Pharmaceuticals.


  1. Zak HinesJune 26, 2015

    Really like this post! Definitely as a guy, it can be tough to talk about your bowel habits when you visit your doctor. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that they deal with the kinds of questions we WANT to ask (but are afraid to) every day. I definitely felt like this article helped me in regards to feeling more comfortable addressing these types of questions when I go to my doctor

  2. Harry deCaboJuly 16, 2015

    Bowel movements are not the easiest topic to cover, but it is important for men to know when they are experiencing abnormalities so that they may go to the doctor and fix whatever the problem is. Too many people are embarrassed to speak with their doctor about matters like this when they deal with them everyday.

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