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Faecal Incontinence

What is faecal incontinence?

Faecal incontinence is the medical term used to describe an inability to control wind ('flatulence') and / or bowel movement. It is classified as either mild or severe.

What are the causes of faecal incontinence?

Many things can cause faecal incontinence, among these are...


People are more likely to be affected by the condition when they are older.


Women are more prone to the condition than men (this is associated with the stresses placed on the female body during childbirth, in fact the more difficulties encountered in childbirth, the more likely the condition is to occur).

Damage to specific internal organs

Any damage to either the anal sphincter muscle or to the nerves in the pelvis can cause the condition (and is more likely where bowel motions are loose). Some surgical procedures can also cause faecal incontinence.

Spinal / Neurological Conditions

Some of these can cause the condition.

How is faecal incontinence diagnosed and treated?

Diagnosis of the condition is either via an ultrasound examination and/or via a test called 'anorectal manometry', where the function of the muscles and nerves that control defecation are tested.

There are two main treatments for the condition:

Dr White will be able to advise which of these treatments is most suitable.