Fecal incontinence Overview

Fecal incontinence is the inability to control bowel movements or milder forms such as rectal leakage. The other type of incontinence is urinary incontinence, but the two types are entirely different ailments. Fecal incontinence is not the same as diarrhea, although one may occasionally cause the other.

There is also “flatus incontinence” or “gas incontinence” referring to the involuntary escape of rectal gas. This is regarded as a mild subtype of fecal incontinence. There is also “wet flatulence”.

A number of physical anorectal conditions can cause fecal incontinence: hemorrhoids, anal fissure, etc. Paradoxically, gastrointestinal blockages such as constipation and fecal impaction may cause incontinence due to anal leakage. There are a number of other types of disorders that may be the cause: gastrointestinal disorders, nerve disorders, spinal cord disorders, brain disorders, and various other types. Laxative overuse is also a possibility.

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Note: This site is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. See your doctor or other qualified medical professional for all your medical needs.