Know Your Fecal Incontinence Risk Factors - Houston Colon – Division of Colon and Rectal Surgery

Know Your Fecal Incontinence Risk Factors

January 8, 2015

Fecal incontinence may be thought of as a condition that only affects seniors, but individuals of all ages can be at risk, as the inability to control bowel movements can stem from multiple causes. However, no matter the cause of fecal incontinence, help is available. With a proper diagnosis, a colon doctor can provide fecal incontinence treatment so that sufferers may experience better bowel control. Knowing some of the risk factors for this problem can help those at risk seek professional attention for their condition sooner than later.


Deliberate bowel movements depend on healthy muscles and nerves, which work together to push stool from the rectum out to the anus. Yet if the nerves in that area have been damaged due to illness or injury, they may trigger fecal incontinence. This is why individuals with existing conditions that affect nerve health can be prone to this issue. In particular, advanced Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and diabetes can all lead to fecal incontinence, as they each may cause nerve damage, or neuropathy. 

Anal Procedures

For many people, surgical treatment is a necessary means to managing or eliminating a colorectal condition. Especially when a person suffers from an anal fissure or hemorrhoids, surgery might be the only way to address the issue. Under some circumstances, though, surgery that targets a problem in the anal region can affect the nerves and muscles, leading to fecal incontinence.


Vaginal childbirth occasionally requires a small incision, called an episiotomy, to the anal region. This incision makes it easier for the baby to pass through the birth canal. The incision is made to a muscle that helps to control bowel movements. After childbirth, this muscle may not heal fully, or it may never exhibit the same degree of strength and control as before. This is why many women who receive this procedure have fecal incontinence. Risk of fecal incontinence may increase if a woman has more than one delivery that requires an episiotomy.

Are you suffering from fecal incontinence? Let Colorectal Surgical Associates help you enjoy the comfort and confidence of having control once again. Call (713) 469-3256 to learn more about our fecal incontinence treatment options or to make an appointment at our Houston office.

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Source: Houston Colon Doctor