Harvard Women's Health Watch

How you can make colonoscopy prep easier

Screening colonoscopy is key to preventing colon cancer, and preparing for the procedure is easier than ever.

If you're apprehensive about your next colonoscopy, you're probably dreading not the procedure itself, but the preparation for it—and for good reason. Getting ready for a colonoscopy can occupy an entire day of dietary restrictions, powerful laxatives, and diarrhea.

If your fears are based on your last colonoscopy prep, you may be pleasantly surprised by your next one. "Things have changed a lot in the past 10 years," says Dr. Catherine Cheney, a gastroenterologist at Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. She cites new low-volume preps that are much easier to take and antinausea medications to help them go down.

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