Fecal Incontinence

What is fecal incontinence?

Fecal incontinence is the inability to control your bowel movements, causing stool (feces) to leak unexpectedly from your rectum. Also called bowel or anal incontinence, fecal incontinence can range from occasional leakage of a small quantity of stool while passing gas to a complete loss of bowel control.

Fecal incontinence Symptoms:

Normally, ‘accidents’ or fecal leakage should not happen in adults except during episodes of severe diarrhea. People with chronic or recurring fecal incontinence may have few or frequent accidents. The symptoms may range from the inability to hold gas, “silent” leakage of stool during daily activities or exertion, or being unable to reach the toilet in time. Other intestinal symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation and abdominal discomfort may also be present.

Fecal incontinence Treatments:

Fortunately, effective treatments are available for fecal incontinence. Treatment for fecal incontinence can help improve or restore bowel control. Depending on the cause of your incontinence, treatment may include dietary changes, medications, special exercises that help you better control your bowels, or surgery.  Additionally, there is a specialized procedure of which multiple injections (i.e. Solesta) are done into the rectum that can also improve symptoms.

There are many options to help patients with fecal incontinence. Make an appointment with our gastroenterologist for an evaluation. To schedule a consultation, call 605.217.5500.