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Fecal incontinence affects approximately 1 in 5 women over the age of 40

Also known as accidental bowel leakage, fecal incontinence affects tens of millions of women in the U.S., or approximately 1 in 5 women over the age of 40. Bowel control issues may result from muscle damage (most often related to childbirth), older age, nerve damage, or other medical conditions such as rectal prolapse (the rectum falls down into the anus), chronic constipation, and inflammatory bowel disease.

Fecal Incontinence Symptoms

For some people, including children, fecal incontinence is a relatively minor problem, limited to occasional soiling of their underwear. For others, the condition can be devastating due to a complete lack of bowel control.

People experiencing chronic fecal incontinence may also experience: 

  • Being unable to control the passage of gas or stools
  • Not making it to the toilet in time

Causes of Fecal Incontinence

Common causes include

  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Muscle damage
  • Nerve damage
  • Surgery
  • Age: While fecal incontinence can occur at any age, it's more common in older adults

Muscle or nerve damage may be associated with childbirth. While fecal incontinence can be embarrassing, don't shy away from talking to your doctor. Treatments are available that can improve your quality of life.

Location Information

To schedule an appointment, please call 443- 777-7608 or use the buttons below.

National Center for Advanced Pelvic Surgery
9103 Franklin Square Drive
Suite 305
Baltimore, MD 21237 
Fax: 443- 777-7618 

Get directions

Peter O’Hare III, MD:

Office Hours

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday: 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Wednesday: 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Friday: 8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

In addition, our physicians see patients in Bel Air and Federal Hill at the following locations: 

Peter O’Hare III, MD
Women's Care at Bel Air
MedStar Health Bel Air Medical Campus
12 MedStar Blvd. 
Suite 235
Bel Air, MD 21015
410-569-7789
Fax: 410-569-7609

 Our Center is part of the National Center for Advanced Pelvic Surgery (NCAPS) at MedStar Washington Hospital Center