Having an FMT by enema or capsules

Faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT)

Faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) by enema is for treating symptoms caused by ulcerative colitis. 

Having an FMT by enema

You do not need to do anything before the FMT by enema. There is no bowel preparation or special diet.

There are 3 enemas as part of the course of treatment. You will have an enema approximately:

  • 2 days after the colonoscopy
  • 4 days after the colonoscopy
  • 4 weeks after the colonoscopy

Your appointment

The enemas are given in the endoscopy unit at St Thomas’ Hospital. When you arrive, you will be asked to remove your clothes and change into a gown.

You will be prescribed loperamide to take just before the enema is delivered but no sedation will be offered.

A nurse will administer the enema and then an anal plug will be inserted.

You will remain in the department under observation for at least 30 minutes.

You should try to retain the FMT for 30 minutes. You can remove the anal plug when you are ready to have a poo (your first bowel movement).

Having an FMT by capsules

Your appointment will be in the department of infectious diseases at St Thomas' hospital.

We will ask you not to eat or drink (fast) for a minimum of 4 hours before your appointment.

You will still be able to drink clear fluids such as water or squash.

There is no bowel preparation or special diet.

You will be asked to stop any antibiotic treatment you are taking at least 48 hours before taking the capsules.

There are 5 capsules in each treatment, which are to be taken with water or squash.

You can return to eating normally 30 minutes after taking the capsules, and are free to leave the appointment once they have been taken (no observation period required).

Resource number: 3975/VER3
Published date: February 2023
Review date: February 2026

Contact us

If you have any questions or concerns about your faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) treatment at our hospitals, please contact the endoscopy department.

Phone: 020 7188 7188 extension 54059, Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

Please note that you cannot self-refer for this treatment.

Referrals are only accepted from local gastroenterology clinicians.

We cannot answer enquiries unless you are a patient at our hospitals.

Do you have any comments or concerns about your care?

Contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)

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