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Bowel Control

Bowel control problems can be embarrassing. However, they are probably more common than you realize. They affect about 18 million adults in the U.S. That means that one out of every 12 people struggle with these embarrassing health problems.

Bowel problems affect people of every age. They are often caused by a health problem. In addition, overall poor health with multiple, long-term chronic illnesses may affect regularity.

Women are more commonly affected than men. During childbirth, the pelvic floor may be injured. If the muscles, ligaments, and tissues which support the pelvic floor are weakened, it may lead to bowel control problems.

Bowel control problems can be extremely distressing. 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. A urogynecologist, a physician trained in treating pelvic floor disorders, can offer help to women experiencing bowel control problems.


Am I at Risk?

There are many causes of bowel problems, which vary based on type.

Risk factors for fecal incontinence include:

  • Childbirth Injury
  • Anal Sphincter Injury
  • Nerve Injury
  • Prolapse
  • Fistula
  • Abnormal Stool Consistency

Risk factors for constipation include:

  • Dietary Problems
  • Medicines and Supplements
  • Pelvic Floor Disorders
  • Medical Conditions

For more information, read about these types of bowel control issues.

Voices for PFD is supported in part by:

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American Urogynecologic Society

1100 Wayne Avenue, Suite 670
Silver Spring, MD 20910

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