What is Faecal Incontinence?
Faecal incontinence is the involuntary loss of stool (poo) or wind. This could be a smear of stool on your underwear to the loss of a whole stool.
What are the causes of Faecal Incontinence?
The cause of faecal incontinence is multifactorial and finding out the exact cause can be difficult. Below are some of the causes of faecal incontinence:
- Long term straining – this could be straining when emptying your bowels
- Medications – many medications can cause people to have loose stools which can contribute to bowel leakage
- Lifestyle – for example heavy weight lifting
- Weakness of the pelvic floor and sphincters around the anus – this could be caused by child birth, age, surgery, radiation therapy
- Bowel disease – for example Crohn’s disease or Coeliac disease
- Constipation – causing stretching of the anal sphincter
- Posterior wall prolapse/rectocele
- Neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis
What will a Continence Physiotherapist do if you are suffering from Faecal Incontinence?
Your physio will complete a thorough subjective and objective assessment (current and past history) as well as a clinical evaluation, including your bowel habits, diet, medications and psychosocial history.
Treatment will depend on:
• How long you’ve had faecal incontinence or anal sphincter damage
• Your age, health and medical history
• How severe the incontinence is
Treatment from your physio may consist of:
• Pelvic floor assessment with real-time ultrasound or internal examination to see if these are contributing to the faecal incontinence
• Pelvic floor exercise program
• Discussing diet
• Current bowel emptying routines
• Strategies to assist with anxiety caused from your condition
If you have any of the symptoms below, it is best to get checked by you GP first:
• Recent change in bowel habit
• Acute onset of faecal incontinence
• Mixed blood in the stool
• Unexplained weight loss
• Inflammatory bowel disease
• Family history of colorectal cancer
Please don’t put up with this issue, you are not alone, we as Continence Physiotherapists are here to help! Call us on (08) 6389 2947 or click here to book online today.