Female Fecal Incontinence
Accidental bowel leakage (ABL), or fecal incontinence (FI), can be an embarrassing condition, with symptoms that include accidents without warning, rushing to the bathroom, constipation and/or loose stool. Many women try to manage their symptoms without telling anyone. Some women think ABL is just a normal part of aging, which is not true.
At Wake Forest Baptist Urology, our physicians understand the shame and frustration of this condition and can help.
According to the National Institutes of Health, about 18 million adults have bowel control problems. The condition, which disproportionately affects women, can occur at any age. A major cause of the condition is injury to the sphincters, ring-like muscles that control the passage of stool from the rectum. This can occur during pregnancy or childbirth or as a result of cancer or hemorrhoid surgery. Other causes include nerve damage, spinal cord injury and irritable bowel syndrome.
“The impact of loss of bowel control, even just occasionally, can be devastating to a woman’s well-being. “Sadly, this is a disorder that few women talk about, even to their physicians. We want women to know that they should discuss it, because there are treatments available.”
Catherine Matthews, M.D.
Co-director, Pelvic Health Services
Schedule an appointment today at 336-716-9253 or 888-716-9253.