Posts Tagged ‘fecal incontinence’

Anal incontinence

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

Anal incontinence, or fecal incontinence, is if you have periods with leakage of stool that you can not avoid with the will. The reason could be hemorrhoids, an injury related to surgery or childbirth, a neurological disease, intestinal inflammation, weakening of the sphincter, and more. Contact your family doctor or gynecologist if you have a problem.

Milder symptoms of anal incontinence may be that you can not control gas and leakage of moisture or mucus that provides patches on underwear.

It is very taboo to talk about bowel habits, and many people are embarrassed and therefore reluctant to reveal their symptoms, even for its immediate surroundings. Many mistakenly believe that they alone are entitled to have leakage from the gut.

Occasional problems with diarrhea and difficulty in getting to the toilet is not considered incontinence.


Incontinence from the gut is a symptom and not a disease. Symptoms can vary and can include:

  • Difficulties in the gases.
  • Moisture or stains in underwear.
  • Leakage of loose stool.
  • Leakage of solid stool.
  • Urgent need for displacement and difficulty by will hold back stool.

The ability to by will be able to control urine and stool is made by a subtle interplay between different functions in the body. The cause of fecal incontinence can be a combination of several factors. It is therefore important to identify symptoms.

Anal incontinence is common in women than men and more common in older than younger.

The most common form of incontinence is leakage from the gut of moisture and solvent. It is inter alia due to hemorrhoids, bulge of intestinal mucosa. This is usually easy to deal with topical therapy.

A more comprehensive incontinence, as major leakage of gas and / or feces can inter alia be due to an injury in the muscles or nerves in the pelvic floor in connection with surgery or childbirth. Neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, stroke and dementia may impair sensation of an inability to feel penetration.

Inflammatory bowel diseases and even tumors can cause you to have an increased sensitivity of the rectum at frequent urgency and impaired ability to hold back. Many years of strained when constipation can also cause incontinence. Like other muscles weakened sphincter with age.

Diarrhea with frequent urgency can lead to incontinence because of the loose stools. It can be a quick temporary inconvenience, but it will have blood in your stool, it is important to seek medical advice for an investigation. Bleeding and diarrhea or incontinence can be caused by inflammation of the intestine, tumors or intestinal prolapse (prolapse). All of these diseases should be investigated and treated by a doctor.


  • It is important that you have regular meals, beverages and toilet habits.
  • Try to schedule a toilet about an hour after eating or when the stools tend to penetrate.
  • Do not rush to the toilet.
  • Try to train your pelvic floor and to avoid heavy lifting.
  • To avoid itching, it is important to protect the skin around the anus. Avoid overly rough-drying. Please take a shower without soap.
  • Use the ointment, for example Inutyolsalva, which gives the skin extra protection from moisture.
  • There are special incontinence of stool incontinence. Turn to your GP and district nurse or specialist clinic. There are in addition to incontinence with charcoal filters also an anal plug that acts as a “pad” of the rectum.

Find Care

To get to a specialist require a referral. Contact your family doctor or gynecologist for an initial investigation, treatment and possible referral.

Ask your family doctor:

  • if you find it hard to keep your stools
  • If you have problems with chronic constipation
  • If you have bleeding or pain during bowel movements.

The address and phone number of a kind reception, go to Find Health Care. You can also contact some receptions and order a time via the Internet. Click on My care contacts.


Tell your family doctor or gynecologist about your symptoms, it can provide good guidance for appropriate treatment. If the appeal can not be rectified recommended referral to medical specialists. In specialist made a careful examination of the anus and rectum. Often made rektoscopi. Then, by means of a tube instruments inspect the intestinal mucosa 10-15 cm.

Sometimes the investigation completed by other studies.

Pressure measurement (manometry anorectal) provides a measure of how strong your muscles are final. The measurement is performed using a thin plastic catheter that is connected to a pressure gauge. It measures the pressure in the rectum (anal canal) at rest and at the pinch.

Ultrasound provides a picture of the final muscles and showing any damaged areas.

The nerves that provide input to the final muscle can be examined with special tests, EMG.

By injecting contrast medium in the intestine and vagina can you see any anatomical changes such as prolapse, rectum, hernia formation, but the lower part of the intestine. The method is called defekografi (discharge x-ray).


Changes in dietary habits with the help of a dietician or control of any food allergy can sometimes give good results in patients with incontinence.

It is also possible with specific pelvic floor exercises strengthen the pelvic floor and improve the control of the sphincter. For some patients, so-called “Biofeedback” training may be helpful. There are pelvic floor exercises with the aid of a device that presents a visual feedback and facilitates the ability to find the muscles. Training takes place under the supervision of a urotherapist who is a specialist trained nurse or physiotherapist. You also get instructions for home exercises, general advice, dietary advice and prescription of aids and more.

Muscle damage can sometimes be treated by surgery. If the inflammation of the rectum is the cause of incontinence medical treatment can lead to an improvement.

Increased knowledge by including new survey also provides opportunities to develop new treatments. There is an ongoing intensive development of various surgical methods to strengthen and / or to implant an artificial sphincter muscle. In recent years, there is a new technique that using a pacemaker stimulates the sphincter to be stronger abstracts, sacral Neuro Stimulation (SNS).

An ostomy surgery may be a treatment option for anal incontinence and can lead to an improved quality of life.

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