Published: July 20, 2007
Updated: Sept. 8, 2010
Duke offers comprehensive treatment for fecal incontinence, including dietary adjustments, pelvic floor exercises, and surgery.
Changes to your diet can remedy chronic constipation, which can aggravate pelvic prolapse and be a cause of fecal incontinence. It is important to address the problem with a high fiber diet and enough daily fluids.
Fecal incontinence occurs when there is poor muscle control resulting in the loss of stool. Regularly tightening the pelvic floor muscles strengthens the muscles important for fecal control.
Patients will be taught how to strengthen these muscles and how to use them when incontinence threatens.
The two common causes that we see are due to rectocele or a poor anal sphincter (usually damaged during childbirth). Both problems are amenable to surgical repair with a the prospect of significant improvement.