Accidental Bowel Leakage: What Should You Know About It?

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If your bowels leak several times during the day or overnight, you may feel discouraged or embarrassed about your problem. You may even hide your bowel problem from your doctor and loved ones. Although accidental bowel leakage can be difficult to deal with, you can take steps to control it. Learn more about accidental bowel leakage and the solutions you can use to control it below.

How Does Accidental Bowel Leakage Occur and Why?

Accidental bowel leakage, or fecal incontinence, occurs when you lose partial or full control of your bowels. Most adults know when they need to move their bowels, or have a bowel movement. However, some adults can't control how, when, or where they move their bowels.

Adults can suffer from urgent or passive accidental bowel leakage problems. People who have urgent fecal incontinence generally know when they need to move their bowels. However, the individuals tend to move or empty their bowels before they can reach a bathroom in time to do so. 

People who have passive fecal incontinence typically don't know when they need to move their bowels. The individuals may experience full bowel movements without knowing it. 

Several things cause fecal incontinence, including pelvic floor weakness. The muscles should be strong enough to hold your rectum and other organs in place inside your pelvis. However, the aging process, nerve damage, strenuous activities, and weight gain can weaken your muscles over time. Muscle weakness can cause the contents inside your lower intestine and rectum to slowly leak out of your anus. 

Accidental bowel leakage doesn't fix itself once it occurs. Most adults require medical intervention and care to control their bowel problems. If you need immediate solutions for your bowel leakage problem, contact a doctor for help today. 

How Do You Treat Accidental Bowel Leakage?

The treatments for urgent and passive bowel leakage can be the same or similar in nature. For example, a doctor may recommend bowel training for urgent and passive fecal incontinence problems. Bowel training teaches you to empty your bowels during specific or designated times of the day. Training helps you avoid accidents at work and other important places. 

A doctor may also use specific treatments to control your leakage. For example, a doctor may use sacral nerve stimulation to treat passive incontinence problems. The treatment stimulates the nerves in your pelvis that control the muscles surrounding your colon and rectum. The stimulated nerves can detect when your bowels are full or when you need to empty them. 

In addition to the treatment options above, a doctor may recommend you wear protective guards or pads in your underwear. If your situation worsens, a doctor may use surgery to repair the weakened muscles in your pelvic floor or rectum.  

If you need viable solutions for your bowel incontinence, consult a medical professional for services today.