UrogynecologyBowel Control

Accidents happen, but they don't have to.

Childbirth, constipation, diet, pelvic floor disorders... these can all cause or contribute to that little (or big) accident that happens from time to time. Instead of hiding your face in shame and hoping your bowels don’t leak or even let go unexpectedly again, make an appointment to discuss options that can reduce or eliminate this uncomfortable problem for good.

What treatments are available to help improve bowel control?

Supplements or medicine

The right supplements and/or over-the-counter or prescription medicines can help regulate your stool’s consistency.

Medical devices

A number of medical devices, like electronic stimulators, vaginal balloons, and artificial bowel sphincters, are available to help maintain continence.

Physical therapy

Your doctor can guide you on how to perform certain exercises on a regular basis that will help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles.

Absorbent pads

Although pads do not treat bowel control issues, they do help improve your quality of life while you work through your treatment plan to increase bowel control.

Change in diet

Your doctor will work with you to identify foods or liquids that cause diarrhea and/or constipation and will help you modify your diet accordingly.


In severe cases of fecal incontinence, surgery can be performed to repair or strengthen damaged muscle of tissue.

adults in the U.S. suffer from bowel control problems
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What are the symptoms?

The most common symptom of a bowel control problem is accidental bowel leakage (ABL), which is the involuntary loss of stool or gas. Patients can also experience constipation, which is the straining to pass bowel movements. Men and women of all ages can experience accidental bowel leakage (ABL). Older women who have given birth are at an increased risk of developing bowel problems due to potential injury to the pelvic floor. (For more information, visit Voices for PFD.)

How do I know which treatment is right for me?

The first step in finding the right treatment is finding a physician that specializes in Urogynecology and pelvic floor disorders (like Dr. Elizabeth Chase of Garrison Women's Health). Once your provider has conducted a series of tests and identified the cause and severity of your bowel control issues, she will recommend a treatment plan that may involve one or more of the treatments outlined above.

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