Bowel Dysfunction and Fecal Incontinence

Bowel dysfunction includes fecal incontinence, unexpected loss of gas/stool, constipation, irritable bowel disease and outlet dysfunction.

Take the steps to stop incontinence

  • 1. Talk to your doctor about unwanted leaks.
  • 2. Learn why you are having this problem.
  • 3. Get treatment and see results in 2 to 3 weeks.

Common causes

  • Injury from childbirth, surgery, infection, spinal cord or cancer
  • Medications
  • Pregnancy, GI disorders or neurological conditions
  • Pelvic floor muscle dysfunction
  • Dietary habits


  • Constipation
  • Difficulty having, not completely eliminating or pain with a bowel movement
  • Bloating/abdominal distension
  • Fecal leakage/loss of stool
  • Involuntary loss of gas
  • Urine leakage
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Food sensitivities


Your treatment plan will depend upon your individual condition and could include:

  • Physical Therapy
  • Exercise and dietary prescription
  • Biofeedback/electrical stimulation
  • Education on symptom management
  • Medication management
  • Surgery

Woman’s has a comprehensive team of experts, including gynecologists, urologists and therapists, committed to helping you gain control over your pelvic floor muscles. 

For more information or to schedule a private therapy consultation at Woman’s Center for Wellness, please contact our patient navigator:
Email Renee

What is fecal incontinence?

Fecal Incontinence

In the U.S., about 8 percent of adults have fecal incontinence.

Fecal incontinence is more common in older women, but it can happen at any age. You are more likely to have fecal incontinence if you also have:

  • A need to rush to the bathroom suddenly (urgency)
  • Nervous system conditions
  • Vaginal childbirth that damaged the skin, muscles, or nerves of the vagina or rectum

There are a few reasons why fecal incontinence happens:

  • You don’t feel when the rectum is almost full.
  • The muscles and nerves that hold the stool inside are weakened or damaged.

Treatment options can include therapy, medications or surgery. 

The road to treatment starts with talking to your primary care provider. You may then be referred to a specialist like a gastroenterologist, urogynecologist or colorectal surgeon. 

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