Constipation is a symptom, not a disease. Constipation means the bowel does not move easily or regularly. This may mean having a bowel movement fewer than every three days and the stools (bowel motion) may be hard and difficult to pass. Some people who are constipated find it painful to have a bowel movement and often experience straining, bloating, the sensation of a full bowel or a sense that the bowels are not empty. Some people think they are constipated if they do not have a bowel movement every day. However, normal bowel movements may vary from three times a day to once every three days depending on the person.