Definitions for fecal incontinence

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  1. Fecal incontinence

    Fecal incontinence, also called faecal incontinence, bowel incontinence or anal incontinence, is a lack of control over defecation, leading to involuntary loss of bowel contents—including flatus, liquid stool elements and mucus, or solid feces. FI is a sign or a symptom, not a diagnosis. Incontinence can result from different causes and might occur with either constipation or diarrhea. Continence is maintained by several inter-related factors, and usually there is more than one deficiency of these mechanisms for incontinence to develop. The most common causes are thought to be immediate or delayed damage from childbirth, complications from prior anorectal surgery and altered bowel habits. An estimated 2.2% of community dwelling adults are affected. Fecal incontinence has three main consequences: local reactions of the perianal skin and urinary tract, including maceration, urinary tract infections, or decubitus ulcers; a financial expense for individuals, employers, and medical insurers and society generally; and an associated decrease in quality of life. There is often reduced self-esteem, shame, humiliation, depression, a need to organize life around easy access to bathroom and avoidance of enjoyable activities. FI is an example of a stigmatized medical condition, which creates barriers to successful management. People may be too embarrassed to seek medical help, and attempt to self-manage the symptom in secrecy from others.

U.S. National Library of Medicine

  1. Fecal Incontinence

    Failure of voluntary control of the anal sphincters, with involuntary passage of feces and flatus.

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"fecal incontinence." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2014. Web. 16 Apr. 2014. <http://www.definitions.net/definition/fecal incontinence>.

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