Fecal Incontinence

Fecal Incontinence


Fecal incontinence occurs when the patient is unable to hold or control their bowel movements. Common causes of fecal incontinence include diarrhoea, constipation, and muscle or nerve damage. This may be due to ageing or giving birth. Although it may be embarrassing to talk about, please seek medical attention to improve your quality of life. We assure you that our doctors are sensitive to your emotions and will do their best to help you get better.

Signs and symptoms

Fecal incontinence may occur temporarily during a severe round of diarrhoea and subside once the infection has passed. However, it can also turn into a chronic issue. It is usually accompanied by gas, bloating and diarrhoea.

Causes and risk factors

There can be various reasons for fecal incontinence to occur – infection and diarrhoea, damage to the anal sphincter, nerve damage, constipation (which leads to nerve damage), rectal prolapse or haemorrhoids. Fecal incontinence is more common in geriatric patients, with pre-existing conditions like dementia or Parkinson’s disease. Patients who have diabetes, multiple-sclerosis or back trauma are also at a higher risk for fecal incontinence.


Fecal incontinence can cause serious skin rashes around the anus and risk of infection, not to mention serious emotional distress to the patient.


Fecal incontinence is usually diagnosed with patient history and a physical exam. The doctor may also want a Digital Rectal Exam, Anal Manometry, a Colonoscopy and an MRI.

Treatment and Surgical Interventions

Depending on the cause, the doctor may prescribe anti-diarrhoea drugs or laxatives. The doctor may also recommend practising Kegels, Bowel Training exercises, Sacral Nerve Stimulation (SNS) Therapy, and Radiofrequency Therapy. If there is sphincter damage caused due to rectal prolapse or childbirth, the doctor may opt for a surgical fix like a Sphincteroplasty. As a last resort, the doctor may opt for the insertion of a Colostomy bag.


Depending on the cause, reducing constipation as well as diarrhoea, having a healthy amount of fibre in the diet and staying hydrated will help prevent fecal incontinence.


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