Fecal incontinence occurs when an individual is unable to control bowel movements. With fecal incontinence you may not being able to make it to the toilet or pass stools without being aware that it's happening. Almost one in 12 adults experience fecal incontinence at some point in their lives, and the condition is typically more common among women than men.
- Muscle damage or weakness
- Nerve damage
- Loss of stretch in the rectum
- Childbirth (by vaginal delivery)
A gastrointestinal doctor is trained in diagnosing fecal incontinence. Typically, this involves evaluating the patient’s medical history and conducting a physical exam and additional tests.
Depending on your age and specific symptoms, your doctor may recommend any number of treatments for fecal incontinence. These include eating a balanced diet, taking medications, bowel training, pelvic floor exercises, electrical stimulation and sometimes surgery.
If you think you may be experiencing fecal incontinence, know that you are not alone. Please consult with one of our GI doctors to learn more about this condition and explore treatment options.