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A 35-year-old member asked:

Is bowel incontinence common?

2 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Denise Elser
Specializes in Gynecology
Not rare: Still a topic that people are afraid to talk even to docs about, so real #s are underestimated. Bowel control is complex and can be affected by consipation, diarrhea, any nerve damage to the lower rectum, pelvic muscle tone, diabetes, neuropathy, spinal stenosis, overall activity level, weight and diet can all play a role.
Dr. Joshua Katz
Colon and Rectal Surgery 28 years experience
Fecal Incontinence: Fecal incontinence is estimated to occurs in some 5% of the population. The most common cause in the United States is the trauma of vaginal childbirth, particularly if a tear occurred or if a posterior midline episiotomy was performed. It is often not brought by patients and not asked about by doctors. It is treatable and manageable in most cases, with attention to diet, meals, a bowel journal.

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CA
A 35-year-old member asked:

What should I do if I have bowel incontinence?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Denise Elser
Specializes in Gynecology
Bowel program: Depends if stools are normal or not. 1) avoid constipation 2) pelvic floor physical therapy, if pelvic muscles don't respond well to pt, then completely emptying the rectum in the am imay be best approach. This involves an enema or suppository each am. If a sphincter tear is present and vaginal birth was recent, then surgical repair can be helpful. Make sure colonoscopy is up to date.

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Last updated Jan 16, 2018
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