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Fecal Incontinence

Incontinence and urinary tract complaints are common among women. Approximately 10-30% of women between 15 and 64 years of age and 25% more than 65 years of age experience urinary incontinence. About 50% of nursing home residents have fecal incontinence. One in five women with urinary incontinence also suffer from anal incontinence. Many of these symptoms may be relieved by interventions; therefore, patients benefit greatly when their physician understands prevention, pathophysiology, evaluation, and treatment of these common disorders. The obstetrician-gynecologist plays a pivotal role in the initial evaluation and treatment of women.

Fecal Incontinence

The estimates of the prevalence of fecal incontinence in the adult female population range between 1% and 17%. This disorder, defined as involuntary passage of gas, liquid, or solid stool, is even more stigmatized than urinary incontinence. Approximately one in five women with urinary incontinence also have some form of anal incontinence. For most women seeking care.


Therapeutic considerations depend on the diagnosis discovered by the evaluation. If no surgical defect is demonstrated, the goal of therapy is to help the patient maintain a state of formed stool and to make every effort to keep the rectum empty. Recommendations will include dietary modifications (mostly to increase fiber) and muscle exercises.