Fecal Incontinence

Fecal Incontinence services offered in Waldorf, MD

Fecal incontinence is a common gastrointestinal problem, affecting up to 1 in 3 adults. At GI Associates of Maryland in Waldorf, Maryland, the team of experienced gastroenterologists provides complete care for fecal incontinence, including prescription medication, dietary guidance, bowel training, and surgery. No matter your symptoms, relief is possible. Call the GI Associates of Maryland office today to schedule treatment for fecal incontinence, or book your appointment online. 

Fecal Incontinence Q & A

What is fecal incontinence?

Fecal incontinence causes involuntary bowel movements. The leakage is uncontrollable and occurs with little or no warning. Almost everyone experiences fecal incontinence occasionally, but if it becomes a problem, identifying the cause is essential. 

What are the symptoms of fecal incontinence?

Fecal incontinence symptoms include:

  • Feeling like you have to poop but not making it to the toilet 
  • Stool leaking out when passing gas
  • Stool leaking during exercise or other physical activities
  • Stool in your underwear after having a bowel movement

In severe cases, fecal incontinence causes a complete loss of bowel control. 

Why does fecal incontinence occur?

Fecal incontinence occurs for various reasons, including weak muscles in the rectum and anus. If these muscles don’t work correctly, stool can leak out before you can get to the toilet. If you have an underlying medical condition that affects your ability to feel your bowel movements, you might not “recognize the signal” to use the bathroom.

Anyone can experience fecal incontinence, but it’s recurring in older adults with medical conditions like rectal prolapse or chronic constipation.

How is fecal incontinence diagnosed?

Your GI Associates of Maryland provider reviews your medical records, asks about your symptoms, and completes a physical exam. They order several tests, including:

Anal manometry

This test assesses the strength of your anal sphincter muscles. During treatment, your provider inserts a thin tube into your anus, measuring the tightness of the sphincter.

Anal ultrasound

Anal ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to capture detailed photos of your anal sphincter muscles and surrounding tissues, a quick and minimally invasive way to diagnose problems with the anus or rectum.


Proctography is a type of X-ray that evaluates the rectum. Specifically, it assesses how well your rectum holds and releases stool. 

How is fecal incontinence treated?

Treatment of fecal incontinence depends on the cause and severity of your symptoms. Your provider might recommend:

  • Avoiding drinks with caffeine and alcohol
  • Avoiding spicy foods and cured meats
  • Limiting dairy intake 
  • Eating foods that bulk up stool
  • Prescription medication

Your provider may recommend bowel training for weak muscles around your anus, which uses specific exercises to strengthen these muscles. 

Surgery is rarely needed. GI Associates of Maryland offers minimally invasive and traditional open surgery to repair and replace damaged sphincter muscles.

Call the GI Associates of Maryland office today to explore the treatments for fecal incontinence, or book your appointment online.