Fecal Incontinence (cont.)

Medical Author:
Medical Editor:

Can bowel incontinence be prevented?

Maintaining sphincter tone may prevent fecal incontinence. This might include preventing constipation by increasing fiber in the diet and keeping well hydrated and avoiding straining to promote a bowel movement.

Unfortunately, many times the cause of incontinence is childbirth anal surgery. It may be years until the symptoms of incontinence arise.

What is the prognosis for bowel incontinence?

The frequency of fecal incontinence increases with age. Once it occurs, the patient may be able to control the symptoms with diet, medication, and exercise. Many patients may initially benefit from surgery, but that benefit gradually decreases over the years and incontinence may recur.

Medically reviewed by Joseph Palermo, DO; American Osteopathic Board Certified Internal Medicine


Shah, BJ; Chokhavatia, S; Rose, S .Fecal Incontinence in the Elderly. The American Journal of Gastroenterology;2012. 107 (11): 1635 to 46.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/7/2015

Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Bowel Incontinence - Cause Question: What was the cause of your bowel incontinence?
Bowel Incontinence - Symptoms Question: What symptoms did you experience with bowel incontinence?
Bowel Incontinence - Treatment Question: What was the treatment for your bowel incontinence?
Bowel Incontinence - Children Question: If your child had bowel incontinence, how was it treated?