Faecal Incontinence

What is FI?

Faecal incontinence is the inability to control bowel movements.

Throughout this website, FI will refer to the inability to control the bowel due to nerve damage.

Symptoms

Sufferers of faecal incontinence may experience one or more of these symptoms:

  • Loose stools or diarrhoea
  • Strong, excessive, uncontrollable bowel contractions which push out the stool
  • Uncontrolled relaxation of the anal sphincter

Suffering from the symptoms associated with FI can have a detrimental effect on a person’s quality of life. You should discuss these symptoms with your doctor.

Potential Causes and Risk Factors

Common causes of faecal incontinence may include:

  • Muscle damage to the anal sphincter muscles
  • Surgical damage due to procedures of the colon or rectum
  • Reduced muscle tone due to normal aging
  • Nerve damage or injuries to the pelvic floor resulting from vaginal delivery
  • Neurologic disorders (altered nerve function) such as stroke or diabetes
  • Conditions associated with chronic constipation or diarrhoea such as Crohn’s disease or Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Certain medications
  • Poor diet

If you experience a constant urge to have a bowel movement or blood in your stool, talk to your doctor immediately.