What’s a colon speculum?

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A colon speculum is a plastic, disposable tool used by hydrotherapists to irrigate the colon. It is used with an obturator and a hydrotherapy machine to control the flow of water. Risks include perforation of the rectum or intestinal walls and contracting diseases from non-disposable speculums.

A colon speculum is the commercial tool of hydrotherapists who use the oblong instrument to irrigate the colon. While vaginal speculums can be metallic and reusable, many governments have regulatory agencies that require a colon speculum to be made of sanitary plastic and disposable since it touches fecal matter; the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is one such agency. Slightly similar to a tampon applicator, the barrel of a colonic speculum usually extends about six inches (15.24 cm) in length, although no more than four inches (10.16 cm) are inserted.

Unlike other speculums that can be used alone, the colon speculum is a hollow barrel that must be used with an obturator. The obturator is a long rod with a curved spout that fits inside the speculum; includes an end ring or flat end handle that allows the hydrotherapist to remove the obturator to connect waste evacuation tubing. Parts of a colonic speculum include the smooth, tapering nose that guides insertion; the thin tubular body that is strong, yet comfortable enough to hold the sphincter muscles in the anus; and finally a non-return device that prevents over-insertion.

After the backstop, the speculum has a water connection port that protrudes diagonally from the side of the instrument; this part of the speculum is never inserted into the client. This is where a therapist attaches a water line to empty the rectum and begin the colon cleansing process. The water line is connected to a hydrotherapy machine which allows the therapist to control the strength and temperature of the water; occasionally herbs and other additives are mixed into the water creating a cleaning solution.

During the colon proper, a hydrotherapist first inserts the colon speculum into the anus and pushes it through the rectum. The shutter is then removed. At that point, the flow of water is started, which hydrates the impinged wastes in the intestines and loosens them. After the customer holds the fluid momentarily, the water and waste is removed, usually through a closed system that does not allow for odor or infiltration. This process is typically repeated until most of the affected waste is evacuated.

Risks accompany the use of a colon speculum during hydrotherapy. Some patients have reported that their rectum or intestinal walls have been perforated by specula or that their hemorrhoids have become irritated, leading to bleeding. In clinics that do not comply with regulations for disposable speculums, patients have reported contracting disease from waste residue on a colonic speculum. People with abdominal hernias or colon cancer are advised not to seek colon hydrotherapy.

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