(Incontinence, Fecal; Bowel Incontinence; Incontinence, Bowel)
- Rectal prolapse
- A condition that is present from birth
- Trauma or injury to anal sphincter or its nerves—the healthy sphincter opens and closes to control the release of fecal material
- Scarring of the rectum from radiation therapy or surgery
|The rectum falls through the anal opening.|
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When Should I Call My Doctor?
- Colorectal surgeon
- Surgical repair of the anal sphincter
- Inserting an artificial bowel sphincter that you can open and close as needed
- Colostomy for severe cases—disconnects the colon and brings the end through an opening in the abdomen
- Prevent constipation by eating a high-fiber diet and drinking plenty of fluids.
- Pay attention to your diet and avoid foods that trigger diarrhea.
- Try to maintain a regular bowel movement schedule.
- Talk to your doctor if you are having trouble with diarrhea or constipation.
International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders http://www.iffgd.org
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases http://www.niddk.nih.gov
Canadian Digestive Health Foundation http://www.cdhf.ca
Canadian Society of Intestinal Research http://www.badgut.org
Fecal incontinence. National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse website. Available at: http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/diarrhea/. Updated November 25, 2013. Accessed December 18, 2014.
Fecal incontinence: treatment. American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/fecal-incontinence/treatment.html. Updated April 2014. Accessed December 18, 2014.
Garg, P, Song J, Bhatia A, Kalia H, Menon G. The efficacy of anal fistula plug in fistula-in-ano: a systematic review. Colorectal Diseases. 2010;12:965-970.
Landefeld CS, Bowers BJ, Feld AD, et al. National Institutes of Health State-of-the-Science Conference Statement: prevention of fecal and urinary incontinence in adults. Ann Intern Med. 2008;148:449-458.
Rectal prolapse. American Society of Colon & Rectal Surgeons website. Available at: http://www.fascrs.org/patients/conditions/rectal%5Fprolapse/. Updated October 2012. Accessed December 18, 2014.
12/4/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Deutekom M, Dobben A. Plugs for containing fecal incontinence. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2009;(4):CD005086.
11/5/2014 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Pannu HK, Glanc P, et al. ACR Appropriateness Criteria® pelvic floor dysfunction [online publication]. Reston (VA): American College of Radiology (ACR); 2014. 20 p. Available at: http://www.guideline.gov/content.aspx?id=48295#Section420. Accessed November 5, 2014.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 12/2014 -
- Update Date: 12/20/2014 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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