Bowel Control

GI Icon OB Icon UR Icon

Reality Check: Accidental Bowel Leakage (ABL), Bowel Control Issues, or Fecal Incontinence (FI)?

I suffer from ongoing:

  • Loose stools or diarrhea
  • Constipation, gas, bloating, and abdominal cramping
  • Strong, excessive, uncontrollable bowel contractions which push out the stool
  • Uncontrolled relaxation of the anal sphincter

Severity can range from an occasional leakage of stool while passing gas to a complete loss of bowel control. If any of these apply, talk to your doctor about ways to improve bowel control (also known as Fecal Incontinence, or FI).

You may feel like no one talks about bowel leakage, but that doesn’t mean no one is suffering

Women of all ages experience varying degrees of loss of bowel control,
with the average age of onset being 47 to 55. 1,2

You are not alone

How common is loss of bowel control?

Loss of bowel control is more common than you might think. NICE indicates a prevalence rate from 1 to 10% of adults are affected by fecal incontinence, depending on the definition and frequency of fecal incontinence used. The average person experiencing fecal incontinence is of middle age.

For women:
58% of Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) patients
56% of Overactive Bladder (OAB) patients and
50% of Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP) patients
also have loss of bowel control3.

What causes loss of bowel control?

Causes include constipation, diarrhea, and muscle or nerve damage associated with a weak or disrupted anal sphincter. Damage to the anal sphincter often occurs as a result of aging or from nerve and muscle injury resulting from childbirth by vaginal delivery.

How are bowel control issues treated?

Treatment typically starts with behavioral modifications, dietary changes, pelvic floor exercises and antidiarrheal medicines to relax the bowel.

Laborie offers:

  • Percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS) with Urgent® PC* – a low-risk, outpatient therapy typically used when conservative treatments aren’t enough but before more invasive treatments.
GI Icon OB Icon UR Icon

Percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS) with Urgent®

Percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS) with Urgent® PC is a low-risk, outpatient therapy typically used when conservative treatments aren’t enough but before more invasive treatments.

  • Urgent PC is a low-risk outpatient treatment for the symptoms of overactive bladder including urinary urgency, urinary frequency and urge incontinence and fecal incontinence.*
  • Since 2003, healthcare professionals have used the Urgent PC Neuromodulation System as an effective office treatment for men and women suffering from fecal incontinence and overactive bladder. Urgent PC is up to 80% effective, even after behavioral measures and drugs have failed 4. Plus, Urgent PC is very low risk, making it a great choice for patients unable or unwilling to have more invasive procedures.


*  PTNS for fecal incontinence with Urgent PC is in indicated in Europe only.


  1. Bharucha AE, Zinsmeister AR, Locke GR, et al. Prevalence and Burden of Fecal Incontinence: A Population-Based Study in Women. Gastroenterology.
  2. Ratto, Carlo, and Giovanni Doglietto. Fecal Incontinence: Diagnosis and Treatment. Milan: Springer, 2007. Print.2005;129(1):42–49.
  3. Lawrence et al. Prevalence and co-occurrence of pelvic floor disorders in community-dwelling women. Am College of Obstet Gynecol 2008.
  4. Leong, F., McLennan, M.T., Barr, S.A., & Steele, A.C. (2011). Posterior tibial nerve stimulation in patients who have failed anticholinergic therapy: efficacy and time to response. Female Pelvic Med Reconstr Surg 17:2, 74-75.


Follow Us