Fecal Incontinence

Fecal Incontinence

Fecal incontinence can be embarrassing, but fortunately, it’s highly treatable. We offer advanced solutions such as Axonics® and InterStim™ Sacral Neuromodulation Therapy with proven results to relieve your symptoms and give you a better quality of life. 

Questions and Answers

What is Fecal Incontinence?

Fecal incontinence, or bowel incontinence, is a condition in which you have a difficult time controlling bowel movements. You might pass stool unexpectedly at inopportune times. Leaking stool might consist of a small amount of fecal matter with gas or larger bowel movements. Fecal incontinence is often embarrassing, but treatment can offer you relief.

SUB: What are the Symptoms of Fecal Incontinence?

Signs and symptoms associated with fecal incontinence include:

  • Passing stool unexpectedly
  • Diarrhea
  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • A sudden urge to pass stool

You may have such a strong urge to pass stool that you don’t make it to the bathroom in time. Or, you might pass fecal matter unintentionally without ever feeling an urge to defecate.

What Causes Fecal Incontinence?

Numerous conditions can cause fecal incontinence. Examples include muscle or nerve damage, hemorrhoids, surgery, radiation treatment, inflammatory bowel disease, and rectal prolapse. Factors that increase your risk of developing fecal incontinence include older age, being a woman, or having physical disability or dementia.

How is Fecal Incontinence Diagnosed?

To diagnose fecal incontinence and develop a treatment plan, the Alabama UROGYN team will review your medical history and ask about your symptoms. To find the underlying cause of your condition, they complete a physical exam and might recommend a digital rectal exam or specialized diagnostic tests, such as imaging procedures or a colonoscopy.

How is Fecal Incontinence Treated?

To reduce symptoms of fecal incontinence, our team personalizes a treatment plan tailored to your needs. Such recommendation include:

  • Sacral Neuromodulation Therapy: Alabama UROGYN offers Axonics and InterStim Sacral Neuromodulation Therapy. This treatment restores normal bowel control using gentle nerve stimulation that promotes better communication between your brain and bowel or bladder.

  • Medications: Taking certain medicines such as laxatives or anti-diarrheal medications,  may help reduce fecal incontinence, depending on what’s causing your condition. 
  • Lifestyle Changes: Altering your diet and getting regular exercise are often effective solutions for reducing fecal incontinence. Drinking plenty of fluids and increasing your fiber intake may help.
  • Physical Therapy: Your provider can show you strength exercises that increase anal and pelvic floor muscle strength to reduce the severity or frequency of fecal incontinence.
  • Surgery: In severe cases of fecal incontinence, Dr. Brown might recommend surgical procedures to give you long-lasting symptom relief.

You don’t need to live with embarrassing fecal incontinence when numerous treatments are available at Alabama UROGYN. Schedule an appointment today.

If you have further questions or are experiencing symptoms of a pelvic floor disorder, call us or schedule an appointment today.