Types of treatments for bowel incontinence
There are various treatments available to people who have bowel control problems. Your healthcare adviser will assess your condition with you and help you decide what treatment and management options are right for you.
Each type of incontinence requires specific treatment approaches. Your healthcare professional will assess your condition and help you decide what treatment and management options are right for you.
Diet and exercise
Some people find that their diet has an effect on their toilet habits. Getting advice from a dietitian on what might affect your bowel can be helpful.
If you have muscle weakness, exercises will be recommended by your healthcare team. These will strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and your anal sphincter muscles.
It’s quite common for people to be unaware of the muscles of the pelvic floor. There are a variety of methods to help you raise the sensitivity to these muscles, such as mild electrical stimulation.
Biofeedback is a technique used when exercising that measures your muscle contractions.
Mild electrical stimulation is sometimes used to complement and enhance these exercises.
You might also benefit from behavioural therapy, which can mean adapting to a particular regimen to help you attain predictability in your bowel habits.
Medicines can help relieve some symptoms of bowel incontinence and increase muscle tone. They might be recommended to you to complement your other treatment options.
Electrical stimulation of the nerves that pass through the lower back can help control muscle reactions, reflexes and sensations, and as a result, bowel incontinence. It is called sacral neuromodulation. It is also effective for dual incontinence.
Surgical options are available to those with bowel incontinence, including those people who have tried other therapies that haven't worked or are poorly tolerated.
Surgery can also fix or alleviate muscular damage or slippages in the structures or organs in your pelvic area. Your doctor will tell you about surgery if you need it.
There are many continence products available for people with bowel incontinence. Designs and materials as well as product choice and performance have improved in recent years. These products aid skin care, leakage management and other aspects of continence care.
- Leroi AM, Michot F, Grise P, Denis P. Effect of Sacral Nerve Stimulation in Patients with fecal and Urinary Incontinence. Dis Colon Rectum, June 2001; Vol 44 No 6: 779-789