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Fecal Incontinence Specialist

Gastroenterology Associates of Fredericksburg

Gastroenterology located in Fredericksburg, VA & Stafford, VA

If you experience embarrassing stool leaks, help is within reach at Gastroenterology Associates of Fredericksburg in Fredericksburg and Stafford, Virginia. The skilled gastroenterology team finds the root cause of fecal incontinence and treats it to restore your quality of life. Call one of the offices or schedule an appointment online today.

Fecal Incontinence Q&A

What is fecal incontinence?

Fecal incontinence, or bowel incontinence, is an inability to control bowel movements, which leads to stool leaks and often-embarrassing accidents. 

A variety of factors increase your risk of developing incontinence, which can dramatically reduce your quality of life when left untreated. See the Gastroenterology Associates of Fredericksburg experts at the first sign of a problem. 

What are the symptoms of fecal incontinence?

Signs and symptoms that may accompany fecal incontinence include:

  • Leaking stool
  • Sudden urges to defecate 
  • Not making it to the toilet in time
  • Passing stool without knowing it
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation 
  • Gas
  • Bloating

Complications that could occur because of incontinence include embarrassment, reduced quality of life, emotional distress, and anal skin irritation or sores.

What are the risk factors for fecal incontinence?

Causes and risk factors associated with fecal incontinence include:

  • Nerve damage
  • Muscle damage
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation 
  • Reduced rectum storage capacity
  • Rectal prolapse
  • Past surgery
  • Protrusion of the rectum through the vagina
  • Older age
  • Dementia 
  • Being female
  • Physical disabilities 

Ways to reduce your risk of fecal incontinence include properly managing constipation or diarrhea and not straining during bowel movements.

How does my provider diagnose fecal incontinence?

To find out if you have fecal incontinence or underlying problems associated with it, the Gastroenterology Associates of Fredericksburg team reviews your symptoms and medical history. They check your vital signs and complete a physical exam, including a digital rectal exam and visual inspection of your anus.

Providers could recommend other diagnostic tests using thin flexible tubes, balloon-like devices, ultrasounds, X-rays, or MRIs, as well as a colonoscopy when necessary.

How is fecal incontinence treated?

Part of your fecal incontinence treatment plan might include:

Lifestyle changes

Making diet and other lifestyle changes can reduce your risk of embarrassing accidents. Avoid trigger foods and drinks, eat plenty of fiber, and drink a lot of water.


Your provider could recommend that you take certain medications to reduce the risk of fecal incontinence and accidents. 


Completing exercises and other therapies, such as kegel exercises, bowel training, and biofeedback, reduces fecal incontinence.

Medical procedures

The Gastroenterology Associates of Fredericksburg team offers injections, nerve stimulation, vaginal inserts, and radiofrequency therapy to diminish incontinence.


In some cases, surgery is the best way to eliminate fecal incontinence by repairing damaged or weakened tissues or fixing the underlying cause of incontinence.

If you struggle with fecal incontinence, you don’t have to live with it. Call one of the Gastroenterology Associates of Fredericksburg offices or schedule an appointment online today.