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Faecal incontinence

Bowel incontinence

A common condition affecting around one in 10 people at some point in their life

About

Faecal incontinence refers to an inability to control your bowel movements. It may lead to the involuntary leakage of faeces from your anus. It can vary from person to person and may be characterised by passing a piece of faeces when passing wind or feeling no sensation before passing faeces. It may affect you on a daily basis or from time to time.

Need to know

  • Symptoms of bowel incontinence icon plus

    Symptoms may include:

    • A sudden urge to defecate that you can't control
    • Soiling yourself without realising you needed to go to the toilet
    • Passing a piece of faeces when passing wind

    These symptoms may affect your daily life and routine, for example going on public transport or socialising. They map happen every day or from time to time.

  • Diagnosis icon plus

    Your consultant will investigate the function of the nerves and muscles in your anus to identify the likely causes of your faecal incontinence. This will help them to develop a management plan.
  • Potential bowel incontinence treatment options icon plus

    Common treatments include:

    • Lifestyle and dietary changes
    • Exercise programmes to strengthen the muscles in your rectum and anus
    • Medication to control the symptoms of constipation and/or diarrhoea
    • Surgery to treat the known cause Treatments can lead to you maintaining normal bowel function throughout your life
Consultant with patient

Our consultants

From complex surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

Our facilities

From complex surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

Request an appointment

We're happy to help you make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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