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Bowel Incontinence

Bowel incontinence, also known as fecal incontinence, prevents you from controlling your bowel movements. You may experience unexpected leaks, or use the bathroom very frequently. Some people experience a combination of these symptoms.

Bowel incontinence is usually an acquired disorder. It may be caused by:

  • Obstetrical injury from pregnancy or childbirth
  • Stroke or advanced age
  • Nerve or muscular damage caused by surgery or injury
  • Conditions that affect the nerves, such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis
  • Inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome
  • Congenital disorders

Some people may suffer from bowel incontinence due to not being able to sense a bowel movement, while others are able to sense a bowel movement but can’t hold it until they get to a bathroom.

Finding relief from the loss of bowel control can be a long journey. There are several treatment options for bowel incontinence, including neuromodulation. If other treatments haven’t worked for you, talk to your doctor about how neuromodulation may be able to help.

  • Behavioral Techniques

    Some people can reduce their bowel control symptoms with lifestyle changes, diet modification, bowel retraining, Kegel exercises, or other kinds of physical therapy.
  • Medications

    Your doctor may prescribe medications to help control the symptoms of bowel incontinence. Medications used for bowel control problems offer a possible solution and may include anti-diarrheal medicines.
  • Neuromodulation

    Your doctor may recommend neuromodulation if you have not had success with, or are not a candidate for, more conservative treatments.*

    Medtronic Bowel Control Therapy (Sacral Neuromodulation delivered through the InterStim® System) is an FDA-approved therapy that targets the communication problem between the brain and the nerves that control bowel function. If those nerves are not communicating correctly, the bowel muscles may not function properly and may cause bowel control problems.

    Medtronic Bowel Control Therapy will not cure your bowel control problems. It may, however, reduce your symptoms to a tolerable level and allow you to resume many of your daily activities.