If you experience incontinence (loss of bowel control, involuntary or accidental bowel leakage) here are some things you need to know:

  • You are not alone – bowel incontinence is common in men and women across all ages
  • You do not have to just “live with it”
  • Some medical conditions that cause bowel incontinence can be treated
  • Bowel incontinence does not have to be a part of aging
  • There are various management and treatment therapies to help improve bowel continence
  • You should tell your doctor

Bowel incontinence is a chronic, stressful, and limiting disorder. Treatment for incontinence should begin with attention to how you manage and what effect incontinence has on your daily life. Attention then can turn toward ways to minimize or contain incontinence.

"Managing incontinence means confronting and dealing with issues involving uncertainty, loss, and control."

Management and treatment may include a combination of the following:

Lifestyle changes

Dietary changes


Bowel management/retraining program

Biofeedback therapy (neuromuscular reeducation)

Surgical treatments

Other new procedures or devices

Current management and treatment options can improve the quality of life for individuals with incontinence and can mean the difference between social isolation and a productive life. However, these measures do not always guarantee a return to complete continence.

There is a great need for research aimed at finding new and innovative treatments to improve continence and the lives of affected individuals.

Read more about research priorities for incontinence treatment

Stories of Hope

personal story

"For a person who is incontinent, replacing feelings of helplessness with a measure of empowerment, with teaching a person that they can take steps to try to better manage their incontinence, can be as important as improving continence."

-Nancy Norton, Founder and President of IFFGD

Read Personal stories

A personal account from the Founder of IFFGD

The Patient's Perspective