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What Is Bowel Incontinence?

Few weeks ago we gave a brief introduction to urinary incontinence. This week we have a similar topic known as bowel incontinence. Bowel incontinence is a term used when bowel movements cannot be controlled and feces/waste leak out of the rectum with or without your knowledge.

Similar to urinary incontinence, bowel incontinence occurs more often among older individuals and is more common in women than in men. Feces/waste leakage can occur when one is passing gas, during physical activity, or having the urge to use the washroom but is unable to hold it in before you make it to the toilet in time.

There can be several factors that affect the continence of feces/waste or the inability to control bowel movement, but most commonly it can be due to the muscles in the rectum or anus not functioning optimally.

Some of the causes for this may be frequent diarrhea or constipation which can cause your muscles to weaken, thus reducing your ability to hold stool within the body. Another reason can be muscle damage. This can occur during difficult vaginal childbirth only seen in women. Other reasons may include old age where muscles naturally weaken, damage to nerves, or the inability of rectum muscles to stretch due to scarring or inflammation.

Don’t let this be an inconvenience to your life as there are treatments available, such as bowel training, that can help you manage this condition. If you or someone you know has bowel incontinence and it is having a negative impact on their life you can contact us for help in making a physical positive change. Give us a call at (905) 771- 8882 or send us an email at for more information.

Reference: Fecal (Bowel) Incontinence: Causes, Tests & Treatments. Cleveland Clinic.

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