Anal leakage after a bowel movement is a common thing you will see if you have fecal incontinence. It causes your stool to leak from your rectum unexpectedly. Moreover, you will not have any control over it as fecal incontinence disrupts the supervision of your stool. Fecal incontinence can range from occasional stool leakage to losing stool control even while passing gas.
If you have fecal incontinence, you will also see diarrhea, muscle or nerve damage, and constipation. The strength or nerve damage can cause issues while giving birth or doing physical work or exercise. Fecal incontinence is embarrassing, and you need to consult your doctor as soon as possible to treat it before it gets out of hand.
It is why we are here to give you an overview of why anal leakage after bowel movement happens, how to treat it, and what the causes are.
Fecal incontinence or anal incontinence is when you have no control over your stool. It causes your stool to leak from your rectum without having any control over it whatsoever; moreover, you can release the stool while passing gas. These leaks occur without any prior feeling to use the restroom, and also, you will not have any knowledge that it is about to happen. However, fecal incontinence is more common in older women than men, and it also hampers your nerves while giving birth.
You can call it fecal incontinence if there is –
- Stool leakage while passing gas.
- You feel like going to the bathroom but could not make it in time.
- Your stool leaks out while doing any physical activity.
- There is no control over your bowel movement.
What Causes Fecal Incontinence or Anal Leakage after Bowel Movement
It is challenging to identify fecal incontinence in some people as they can have more than one specific reason to have anal leakage after a bowel movement. However, you can have this issue due –
- Damage in the muscle – If you had an injury during any physical activity or an unfortunate accident to the rings of muscle at the anal sphincter, it would be difficult for you to hold your stool. It is common in women while giving birth. Moreover, if there any use of episiotomy or forceps during childbirth, then it increases the chances.
- Constipation – Chronic constipation causes a dry and hard mass of stool to gather, disrupting or blocking bowel movement through the rectum. The rectum stretch muscles make room for the stool to pass but eventually get weaker and weaker. After that, the muscles cannot control the traction to control the bowel movement; thus, causing unexpected leakage of the stool.
Nerve damage in the rectum –
if there is any damage to the nerves that sense stool in the rectum or control the anal sphincter, it can cause you to have fecal incontinence. It mostly happens to women when they are giving birth. Moreover, it can also happen due to – straining during a bowel movement, stroke or a spinal cord injury, diabetes, and sclerosis.
- Diarrhea – Solid stool retains in the rectum very quickly than loose stool. If you have diarrhea, then the loose stool will worsen the fecal incontinence case or cause it to happen.
- Losing storage capacity in the rectum – The rectum stretches to make room for the stool to store until its time to release. If your rectum is stiff because you had surgery, inflammatory bowel movement, or radiation treatment, the rectum losses its capability to stretch to store the stool. As a result, the excess loose stool leaks out, and you have no control over that situation.
- Surgery – If you had surgery to treat the enlarged veins of the rectum and anus or had more complex surgery, then it can cause damage to the nerve and muscles of the rectum. It is then more likely to result in fecal incontinence.
- Prolapsed rectal – Fecal incontinence can happen due to rectal prolapse, where the rectum drops down to the anus. Using a prolapse to stretch the rectal sphincter can damage the nerves, and if it continues for a more extended period, it is less likely to recover.
- Rectocele – It is basically for women if the rectum protrudes through the vagina, which can cause fecal incontinence. Moreover, predominantly suffer through fecal incontinence as they have, the chance for the rectum to stick up through their vagina.
Risk Factors to Consider for Fecal Incontinence
If you have fecal incontinence, try to see the doctor as soon as possible, as there is no point in dragging it further. Moreover, you will also have to be careful as several factors can drastically worsen the case.
- Age – Fecal incontinence can happen to anyone at any age. You do not get a guideline that you might face the disease at this age, so do this and that. However, it is more common in older women than age who are over the age of 65.
- Being a woman – Fecal incontinence mostly happens in older women or as a complication of childbirth. Moreover, women who take menopausal hormone replacement therapy have a higher risk of fecal incontinence.
- Dementia – If you have Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, it is likely to have fecal incontinence or anal leakage after a bowel movement. As you slowly forget how your body functions, you can quickly develop fecal incontinence.
- Physical issues – Physical disability is a curse, and it makes everything so much harder to reach and do. Moreover, an injury that caused physical disability can also be the cause of nerve and muscle damage. It is the main reason for someone to have fecal incontinence.
- Nerve problems – Having long-standing diabetes, back trauma, and multiple sclerosis can increase your chances of having it. Moreover, it also damages the rectum and anus nerves that store, hold, and control the bowel movement.
Symptoms of Anal Leakage
Anal leakage can be a temporary problem due to diarrhea or nerve damage. It will recover over time with proper caring and treatment. However, for some people, it is a chronic or recurring issue. Although, fecal incontinence does not come alone; instead, it accompanies another disease so that the symptoms can allow you to identify and treat anal leakage.
These diseases are the main symptoms of anal leakage. As this causes you to loose stool, it is difficult to control the flow and create fecal continence.
How to Treat Anal Leakage
The primary treatment for anal leakage is medicine, diet changes, and strengthening your pelvic floor muscle. It can help improve 60 percent of the problem, and the rest is up to the mixture you will have to take. However, there are home treatments for minor anal leakage after bowel movement issues and medical treatments that we recommend first.
Home treatments help accelerate the process, but you should consult a doctor to check if it is a mild case or a significant problem. Moreover, home treatments should be done alongside medical prescriptions to help improve the situation faster. At-home treatments include –
- Changes in your diet – Changing your diet will be the first thing the doctors will suggest. Firstly it will help reduce the case, and secondly, it is also to check if the situation is worse. The main focus should be on changing your diet and trying to intake more fiber and liquid. The fiber and beverages will help repair and muscle damage and also improve muscle contraction.
- OTC medications – Over-the-counter medicines are great to treat minor fecal continence. Most doctors suggest bismuth subsalicylate for diarrhea, fiber supplements such as Metamucil and Miralax type osmotic agents for constipation, and stool softeners like Colace.
Medical treatments are for more leaky severe butt situations. You will have to go through some therapy, treatments, and medicine to recover from fecal continence fully.
- Biofeedback therapy – In this therapy, they use a sensor to measure your key body functions, such as – when poop is filling up your rectum and your control. They also use a rectal ballon or anal manometry for training.
- Prescription medications – If your case is paramount, then you will need stronger medications than OTC medicines. Although OTC medications are great if your fecal continence is more serious, doctors will suggest a more potent drug to pressure the recovery process.
- Bulking agents – Anal leakage happens when the anal walls cannot support you to control the flow of stool. The rectum and anus muscles are not strong enough due to muscle injury, surgery, or nerve damage. That is when the doctors resolve to bulk agents that will thicken your anal wall to control your bowel movements.
- Surgery – Surgery should be your last resort when the medication and therapy are not working that well. However, the doctors depending on the condition might suggest, going for surgery; instead of trying out treatment and medication. The doctors might recommend colostomy, sphincter repair or replacement, hemorrhoids corrections, rectal prolapse, or sphincteroplasty for treating your anal sphincter or pelvic floor muscle injuries.
FAQs on Anal Leakage after Bowel Movement
- How do you treat bowel leakage?
Bowel leakage is nothing to hide as it is a medical condition. So, treat it as you would any other disease. Here are some short tips –
- You can wear absorbent pads.
- Change your diet; add more fiber or liquid.
- OTC medications.
- Pelvic floor muscle exercises to strengthen the fibers of the muscles.
- Biofeedback therapy.
- Nerve stimulations.
- Bowel training.
- Why does my bum leak fluid?
When your anus leaks anything other than stool or blood, then it is a rectal discharge. It can occur due to anal fistula, abscess, or any other infection such as sexually transmitted disease or chronic inflammatory disease. That is why your bum leaks fluid as your consumption. We suggest seeing a doctor as they can prescribe medication to treat the problem.
- Is bowel leakage serious?
Accidental bowel leakage is not that serious, especially if you have diarrhea or constipation. Moreover, it is also natural that you sometimes cannot hold it in for longer. However, if you have diarrhea or constipation and have anal leakage, you probably have a fecal continence case. Mostly it is a minor issue that goes away with the accompanied disease. But a doctor can examine it better to conclude it is a little case that can go away with OTC medicine or a major one that will require therapy and more vital medication.
- Can hemorrhoids cause leakage?
Yes, hemorrhoids can cause bowel leakage. Moreover, both the internal and external hemorrhoids can cause leakage of anal mucus. It also makes cleaning the anus very difficult and can produce an awful smell—hemorrhoids muscles contract and extract to control your stool’s flow. If the muscle is not working as it should, there will be an uncontrollable stool, thus leakage.
Conclusion on Anal Leakage after Bowel Movement
Anal leakage after a bowel movement is an embarrassing thing for some people; however, you will have to understand that it is a medical situation. Moreover, you can quickly treat it at home with some exercise and OTC medicines. However, we recommend that you see your doctor as they will test the stool’s flow and control to determine the situation and give you medications according to that.
Fecal continence comes with another disease, such as diarrhea or constipation. Mostly, when the condition is treated, the situation also slowly resolves. But in some cases, the problem gets much more prominent, and the doctor suggests going in for therapy and stronger medication to treat the leakage issue.
That is why we put this article in front of you to know, understand, and treat your anal leakage after bowel movement problem.