Fecal or bowel incontinence is the impaired ability to control your body's gas or stool.
Causes may include:
- Diminished muscle strength with age
- Injury during childbirth
- Infections around the anal area
Depending on the severity of the problem, doctors may recommend simple dietary changes, the use of some constipating medications, and/or exercises to strengthen the anal muscles.
In more severe cases, they may use biofeedback to help your body sense when the stool is ready to be evacuated and to help strengthen the muscles. Injuries to the anal muscles may be repaired with surgery, such as sphincter repair or reconstruction. Implantation of an artificial device also may be effective.
Diseases such as colitis, which cause inflammation in the rectum, may contribute to anal control problems. Treating these diseases also may eliminate or improve incontinence. Additionally, a change in prescribed medications may help.
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