Fecal (Bowel) Incontinence

Similarly to urinary incontinence, the common cause is related to age

What is Fecal Incontinence

Fecal incontinence, also referred to as bowel incontinence is when a person loses control over bowel movement. This results in faeces suddenly leaking out.

Again, this condition may cause a reasonable amount of embarrassment and affects daily routines. Similarly to urinary incontinence, the common cause is related to age. There are other causes, but should be diagnosed by your doctor.

In the case of faecal incontinence, maintaining cleanliness and good hygiene is important. This is why choosing an adult disposable-diaper is favoured over re-usable cloth diapers. This is especially when those having this condition cannot clean themselves.

Risk factors for fecal incontinence

Age - Fecal incontinence is more common in middle age and older adults.

Vaginal childbirth - Women are affected by accidental bowel leakage twice more than men due to vaginal childbirth that damages the anal sphincters of their nerves.

Diarrhea- Due to infection or irritable bowel syndrome that leads to diarrhea.

Severe constipation - Impacted stool due to severe constipation is common in older adults. Prolonged constipation may cause nerve damage that leads to fecal incontinence.

Nerve damage- People who suffer from prolonged diabetes, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis - conditions that can damage the nerves which control defecation are prone to fecal incontinence.

Physical disability- Physically disabled people may find it difficult to reach the toilet in time. Injuries that have led to physical disability may cause rectal nerve damage, which in turn leads to fecal incontinece.

Cognitive (thinking) Impairment - Fecal incontinence is often present in late stage Alzheimer's disease, dementia, or after a stroke.