Bowel Control Problems

    Bowel control problems are very common, especially among women. These problems range from trouble passing bowel movements (constipation) to leakage of bowel material (fecal incontinence). These problems can be extremely distressing, and unfortunately many women are too embarrassed to talk about them with a health care provider.  Speaking up and talking about these problems is the first step toward having healthy bowel habits.

    Symptoms of bowel control disorders can be leakage of stool or gas without your control, difficulty emptying the bowels, or the need to strain for bowel movements. Other symptoms such as a change in the appearance of your stools or bleeding from the rectum should be discussed with your doctor as well. A urogynecologist, a physician trained in treating pelvic floor disorders, can offer help to women experiencing bowel control problems. 

    Types of bowel control problems:


    Fecal Incontinence


    Original publication date: May 2008; Content updated: July 2013

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