Bowel incontinence / faecal incontinence / bowel urgency

Bowel incontinence, or faecal incontinence, is when you have problems controlling your bowels. Nothing causes more misery in people’s lives than bowel problems. Whether it be bowel incontinence, urgency, constipation, incomplete emptying, faecal incontinence, problems with controlling wind, rectal prolapse, hemorrhoid’s, or pain from anal fissures– and sometimes quite a few of those symptoms can occur at the same time.

Bowel incontinence can be caused by childbirth, chronic constipation, connective tissue disorders, irritable bowel syndrome and many more.

It may be triggered by your sport (the infamous ‘runners trot’) or stressful situations.

Here are a few tips how to achieve a regular happy bowel movement:

  • Position matters. When you're on the toilet, try to get your knees higher than your hips. When your knees are higher than your hips it is like unkinking a water slide, helping to fully open your bowels; a bambino stool, squatty potty can be helpful.
  • Have patience, you can’t just empty on command, take your time.
  • Do not push in the traditional way. If you strain, it is like squeezing toothpaste from the top, it makes it more difficult to empty your bowels completely. Straining is also a risk factor in the development of prolapse, if you strain regularly, talk to your GP or women’s health physio.

For more information regarding your bowels, read our helpful blog on 'How to have the perfect poo.'

If you have any bowel leakage or urgency, our specialist women’s health team can help.

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