Chronic constipation is infrequent bowel movements or difficult passage of stools that persists for several weeks or longer. Constipation is generally described as having fewer than three bowel movements a week. Though occasional constipation is very common, some people experience chronic constipation that can interfere with their ability to go about their daily tasks. Chronic constipation may also cause excessive straining to have a bowel movement and other signs and symptoms. Treatment for chronic constipation depends in part on the underlying cause. However, in some cases, a cause is never found.