Fecal incontinence is a very common symptom that can significantly reduce ones quality of life. Fecal incontinence affects people of all ages around the world. It is an issue that is often concealed by those affected and is associated with radical repercussions in everyday life.
Fecal incontinence is the medical term used to describe the involuntary loss of intestinal contents (stool, gases or wind). Severe fecal incontinence occurs when you lose solid or liquid stools uncontrollably at least once a week.
- Diseases of the rectum (tumour, inflammation, Crohn's disease, fissures...)
- Anal and/or rectal traumas
- Damage to the anal sphincter muscle (birth trauma, surgery of the rectum, ...)
- Damage to the pelvic nerves after gynaecological, prostate or rectal surgery
- diseases of the pelvic nerves (diseases of the spinal cord, spina bifida, polyneuropathies, Parkinson's syndrome, dementia...)
- Chronic abuse of laxatives
- pelvic floor insufficiency
- rectal prolapse
Fecal incontinence is a common disease that occurs in about 1.5% to 5.3% of the population. The value of 5% corresponds to a number of approx. 18 million people affected in the USA and approx. 4 million in Germany. The frequency of fecal incontinence increases with age, with geriatric and psychiatric patients up to 30% fecal incontinence can be expected. However, the real frequency of fecal incontinence is likely to be significantly higher, as the collection of such data is very difficult.
- Birth trauma (large child, forceps birth, sucking curl birth, large episiotomy...)
- Neurological diseases
- Weakness of the connective tissue
- Anal stretching (anal intercourse...)
The diagnosis of fecal incontinence begins with a consultation. The search for a possible cause requires a professional examination. This includes a gastroenterological and coloproctological examination, a colonoscopy, an ultrasound as well as a pressure measurement in the rectum, also called rectomanometry.
The information on this website does not replace a personal consultation with your doctor.
Always consult your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.