Treatment Options

Bowel Incontinence Treatment Options

How you can begin to take control

Once your doctor diagnoses you with fecal incontinence, you can be treated and can look forward to an improved lifestyle. While there is no quick fix for your condition, there are several options available. Fecal incontinence treatments range from simple to more complex. So, if the first thing you try doesn’t work, don’t get stressed—talk with your doctor to choose your next treatment.

Conservative Therapies

  • Changes in diet -  adding or increasing fiber to your diet can  make it easier to control stool. Sometimes cutting out things like coffee, tea, or chocolate can help as well.

  • Taking medication - some medicines help regulate bowel movements. These include laxatives and other medicines that slow down the movement of the stool through the bowel. 

  • Bowel training exercises -  strengthening exercises called Kegel exercises (or pelvic floor exercises) can help control leakage. Bowel training for incontinence involves contracting and relaxing the muscles of the anus, buttocks and pelvis. 

Behavioral Therapy

  • Biofeedback – using devices to help you learn how to do exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. New behaviors can be acquired through trial and error, with instant feedback provided by the device inserted into the rectum. 

These options may be enough to help some people, but not everyone. Remember too, if the first treatment doesn’t work- there are others to try. Just be sure to let your doctor know what works- and what doesn’t.

Next Step Therapies

  • Injectable tissue bulking agent (Solesta) –  a gel injected to improve the bulk and thickness of the anal walls. This is a quick, nonsurgical approach and has been proven to significantly reduce accidents and help patients achieve a better quality of life.1 Learn more about how Solesta can help, and how it works

  • Surgery - there are a variety of surgical approaches to treat bowel control problems. These procedures include sphincteroplasty (sphincter surgery), colostomy, sphincter replacement, and sacral nerve stimulation. Many of these procedures involve the repair or replacement of a part of your anus or sphincter. Potential considerations for surgery include prolonged recovery period, complications and risk of infection.