Fecal Incontinence

What is Fecal Incontinence?

It is the inability to hold stool in which results in losing control of the stools. This may occur if the anal sphincter muscle is weak which can develop as a result of back/pelvic injury and traumatic vaginal deliveries. It is more common in the elderly population.

Esophagus

Stomach

Intestine

What are symptoms of Fecal Incontinence?

  • Leakage of small amounts of formed, soft or watery stools (patients are sometimes unaware that this is happening and discover stool on their underwear afterwards)
  • There may be associated urinary incontinence

How is the diagnosis made?

Based on your symptoms and anorectal manometry

How is the condition treated?

Fiber supplements, biofeedback or sometimes surgery

Biofeedback is a technique used to retrain or strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. A physical therapist or a nurse teaches the patient specific exercises which will help to make it easier to have bowel movements. Exercises should also be performed at home for best results.