Bowel Incontinence

Bowel incontinence, also known as fecal incontinence, is an inability to control bowel movements, leading to the involuntary passage of fecal material.

This condition differs from patient to patient. In some cases people feel an abrupt, urgent need to go to the toilet, and incontinence happens since they can’t get to the toilet in time. This is called urge bowel incontinence.

Other people experience no sensation before passing stool, referred to as passive incontinence or passive soiling, or they may pass a tiny bit of stool while passing wind.

Causes of Bowel Incontinence

Bowel incontinence is a symptom that reflects an underlying physical problem with parts of the body that control the passage of stools.

Several cases result from diarrhea, constipation, or weakening of the anal sphincter, a ring of muscle that controls the opening of the anus.

Bowel incontinence is also caused by long-term conditions like diabetes, dementia, and multiple sclerosis. Kindly refer to figure 2 below.

Figure 2.

Neuro Control of Bowel Movement