Tag Archives: fecal incontinence

Fecal Incontinence Is More Common Than You Think

fecal-incontinence

When we think of incontinence, we often associate it with unwanted and unintentional urine leakage.

However, fecal incontinence is almost as prevalent as urinary incontinence yet is rarely discussed. Incontinence can affect anyone, regardless of age or gender and could be due to hereditary factors or other health-induced reasons.

The Prevalence of Fecal Incontinence

Did you know that 24 percent of men and 17 percent of women experience fecal incontinence?

That means that almost one in five adults have, at one point or another, experienced fecal incontinence (Source).

Fecal incontinence could be accompanied by other bowel issues such as: constipation, gas and bloating, and diarrhea.

Factors That Cause Fecal Incontinence

Damage to the anal sphincter muscles

Sphincter muscles work to hold stool within the body. When these muscles are damaged, they become weak and fail to hold stool in resulting in fecal incontinence. A common cause of this is an injury sustained during childbirth. With the intense pressure that this area endures, damage to the anal sphincter muscles is common.

Pelvic nerve damage

When pelvic muscles are damaged, it can severely affect your ability to sense when you have to use the bathroom.

Reduction in rectum elasticity

There are various things that can lessen the resilience of the flexibility of the bowel. This could be hereditary or as a result of surgery or childbirth.

Dementia

Fecal incontinence tends to be prevalent in those suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s due to the inability to control bowl movements.

Fecal incontinence is also referred to as Accidental Bowl Loss (ABL) and is too infrequently discussed with doctors and physicians.

If you suffer from fecal incontinence, it is absolutely nothing to be ashamed about. Treatments are available that will supply you with relief of your symptoms so that you can lead a normal everyday life. Speak to your doctor or physician today and start a journey toward a better quality of life that is free from the worries of incontinence.

Wearever provides a a variety of products that help you manage incontinence. Check out our incontinence panties, incontinence briefs, and reusable bed pads.

Menopausal Hormone Therapy Has Been Linked to Fecal Incontinence

menopausal-hormone-therapy

Around the age of 55, women go through menopause and it is a natural part of aging. Since this can be a trying time in a female’s life, many of them have a difficult time adjusting to the emotional side effects of ever-changing moods and sentiment.

As a result, women tend to seek relief which may come in different forms such as from various vitamins, medications, supplements, and even menopausal hormone therapy. These methods can relieve them of the hot flashes and sweating that are a side effect of menopause. But little do these women know, menopausal hormone therapy may actually have negative adverse effects such as fecal incontinence.

Recent Studies on Menopausal Hormone Therapy

New data has emerged regarding the association of fecal incontinence and menopausal hormone therapy.

A group of 55,828 postmenopausal women with an average age of 73 were analyzed. The study discovered that “women who were past users of menopausal hormone therapy were about 26% more likely to develop incontinence (HR, 1.26) when compared to those who never used hormone therapy” (Source). In turn, more and more research is going into whether or not this treatment option is safe enough to suggest to patients.  

The Risks Involved

Although hormone therapy (HT) is government-approved and designed to alleviate menopausal symptoms, it does come with some risks as well.

One of the biggest risks associated with HT is prolonged usage coupled with a high doses. The healthiest alternative would be to take the lowest dose for the shortest amount of time. Prolonged use of HT has been linked to fecal incontinence which may cause more downfalls than benefits for some.

Aside from the possibility of developing fecal incontinence as result of Menopausal Hormone Therapy, there are other significant risks such as: strokes, blood clots, heart attacks, and breast cancer.

“The longer you’re on hormone therapy, the higher your risk for fecal incontinence and the longer you’re off, the more that risk attenuates. I think this says to clinicians that they need to evaluate each time they see that patient whether she still needs to be on hormone therapy at that time”, states Dt. Staller,  a neurogastroenterologist and motility specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston (Source).

If you are considering choosing menopausal hormone therapy as a way of regulating your symptoms, it may be worth reconsidering. Weighing the pros and cons of this alternative will help you to better understand whether or not menopausal hormone therapy is right for you.