Bowel incontinence is the loss of bowel control, causing you to pass stool unexpectedly. This can range from sometimes leaking a small amount of stool and passing gas, to not being able to control bowel movements.
Urinary incontinence is when you are not able to control passing urine. It is not covered in this article.
Uncontrollable passage of feces; Loss of bowel control; Fecal incontinence; Incontinence - bowel
In adults age 65 and older, women tend to have problems with bowel control more often than men.
Children who have problems with leakage due to toilet training problems or constipation may have encopresis.
The rectum, anus, pelvic muscles, and nervous system must work together to control bowel movements. If there is a problem with any of these, it can cause incontinence. You must also be able to recognize and respond to the urge to have a bowel movement.
Many people feel embarrassed about bowel incontinence and may not tell their health care provider. But incontinence can be treated. So you should tell your provider if you are having problems. Proper treatment can help most people gain control of their bowels. Exercises to make the anal and pelvic muscles stronger can help the bowels work properly.