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What is fecal incontinence?

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Quick Answer

Fecal incontinence is a loss of bowel control that causes stool to unexpectedly leak from the rectum, according to Mayo Clinic. Sometimes patients experience the urge to have a bowel movement but are unable to reach a bathroom, states Healthline. Other times, the stool leaks accidentally without any urge.

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Full Answer

Diarrhea, fecal impaction, muscle damage and nerve damage are the most common causes of fecal incontinence, states Healthline. Women may also experience fecal incontinence after gynecological surgery or due to injury of the anal muscles after vaginal delivery, explains MedlinePlus. Individuals who are over the age of 65, women who have given birth, individuals who have frequent constipation, and patients who have diseases that cause nerve damage are at high risk for fecal incontinence.

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