This condition refers to the passage of hard or infrequent bowel movements, particularly if the stools are difficult to pass. This is a very common condition, which does not usually have a serious cause. It is important to seek advice if there is a change in bowel habit or new development of constipation. The symptoms are usually able to be managed successfully with dietary and lifestyle changes (such as adequate fibre and fluid intake and physical activity). Laxatives are sometimes required and in some people with very severe constipation investigations and other treatments are needed.