Bowel or fecal incontinence is a condition that affects both men and women, and is characterized by the inability to control bowel movements. It affects millions of people, many of whom are too embarrassed to tell anyone, even their physician. But bowel incontinence is highly treatable – and more common than you think.
Bowel incontinence affects people differently – some have leaks of solid or liquid fecal matter, some cannot reach a restroom in time, and some don’t realize they need to go until it’s too late. There are three main types of bowel incontinence:
Passive incontinence – involuntary discharge of feces or gas, usually without awareness.
Urge incontinence – uncontrollable discharge of gas, feces, and/or mucus despite attempts to control bowel movements.
Fecal seepage – leakage of stool following a routine bowel movement.
There are many possible causes for bowel incontinence and they include:
Muscle damage – For women, this most often occurs during childbirth.
Aging – Pelvic floor and rectal muscles can weaken with age.
Nerve damage – This can occur due to childbirth, diabetes, surgery, multiple sclerosis, or stroke.
Medical conditions – Such as rectal prolapse, chronic constipation or inflammatory bowel disease are just a few possible causes.
Other causes – There are many possible causes for bowel leakage including overuse of laxatives, radiation treatments, etc.
Fecal or bowel incontinence can be inconvenient and embarrassing. It is treatable, and there are many treatment options available to you if you are suffering. Contact us or call one of our discreet, dedicated Medical Concierges at 800-771-1953 today for more about your bowel or fecal incontinence treatment options.