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Bowel Incontinence – A Common Digestive Disease

Do you or a loved one have problems with bowel control? 

Bowel incontinence, also referred to as fecal incontinence, is the accidental passing of a bowel movement and can present as anal leakage of loose stool, solid stool or mucus. Such uncontrollable anal discharge, or anal seepage, can be upsetting and embarrassing – and may discourage patients to talk with their doctor about their bowel incontinence. 

You are not alone

Recent research shows that up to 18% of the general population worldwide suffer from bowel incontinence.1 However, due to the shame and emotional toll of this condition - many people avoid seeking bowel incontinence treatment, and the number of cases is likely higher.2 It is important to know that bowel incontinence is a medical condition that can be treated by a doctor – this website has a resource for helpful tips on getting the conversation started.  

Causes of Bowel Incontinence3

For many, there may be  more than one cause of bowel incontinence. Causes can include muscle damage, nerve damage, constipation, diarrhea (loose stool), hemorrhoids, loss of storage capacity in the rectum, surgery, rectal prolapse, physical inactivity, childbirth by vaginal delivery and rectocele. Learn more about the causes of bowel incontinence.

Solesta is an injectable outpatient product for the treatment of fecal incontinence in patients 18 years and older who have failed conservative therapy (e.g. diet, fiber therapy, antimotility medications, pelvic floor exercises (Kegels), biofeedback).


  1. Paquette IM, Varma MG, Kaiser AM, Steele SR, Rafferty JF. The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons’ Clinical Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Fecal Incontinence. Dis Colon Rectum. 2015;58:623–636.
  2. Irwin T, Snow AR, Orton TS, Elliot C. Endoscopic, ultrasonographic, and histologic descriptions of dextranomer/hyaluronic acid in a case of fecal incontinence. Case Reports in Pathology. 2018.

  3. Mayo Clinic. Fecal incontinence symptoms & causes. Available at http://mayoclinic.com. Accessed September 13, 2019.