Conclusion & Future Perspective
Fecal incontinence is a common disorder affecting up to 15% of women, and it may have a devastating impact on QOL. Most patients do not seek treatment, apparently because of social stigma and pessimism that symptoms can be improved, and most physicians do not screen for it for similar reasons. However, it is treatable; most patients with FI can be substantially improved or cured through medical management, biofeedback or surgery. We recommend that appropriate professional societies make it a priority to:
Reduce the social stigma associated with FI so that more patients seek treatment
Educate primary-care physicians about treatment options and encourage screening
Develop and test prevention strategies
The major barriers to helping women with incontinence appear to not be the lack of research, but the social and professional barriers to diagnosing and treating this disorder.
The authors were supported by grants R24 DK067674 and RO1 DK57048. W Whitehead receives grant support from McNeil Pharmaceuticals, the makers of loperamide. The authors have no other relevant affiliations or financial involvement with any organization or entity with a financial interest in or financial conflict with the subject matter or materials discussed in the manuscript apart from those disclosed.
Women's Health. 2008;4(5):517-528. © 2008 Future Medicine Ltd.
No writing assistance was utilized in the production of this manuscript.
Cite this: Fecal Incontinence in Women: Causes and Treatment - Medscape - Sep 01, 2008.