Our Emergency Department in Dublin will be closed on Saturday 25th June. The service will be available again from Monday 27th at 8am. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding.

Bowel Incontinence

Bowel pattern disturbances  

Bowel incontinence is the inability to control bowel movements. Bowel incontinence ranges from an occasional leakage to a complete loss of stool control. 

Constipation/chronic constipation is also another bowel disturbance that can cause a lot of issues to someone’s quality of life.  


What are the signs of bowel disturbances?

  • Diarrhoea 
  • Constipation/chronic constipation  
  • Not getting to the toilet on time 
  • Staining of stool in the underwear  

What are the possible causes of bowel disturbances? 

There are a range of possible risk factors to consider when assessing the risk of developing bowel disturbances, the more of these that are present the greater the risk: 

  • Age 
  • Female 
  • Long-standing conditions that lead to nerve damage (e.g. diabetes or multiple sclerosis) 
  • Physical disability 
  • Dementia 
  • Surgery 
  • Previous cancer treatment- chemotherapy and radiotherapy  
  • Rectal prolapse/rectocle  
  • Giving birth 
  • Nerve damage to the rectal area due to previous trauma 

If you are concerned that incontinence is affecting your lifestyle, seek advice from your GP and ask to be referred to Mater Private Pelvic Health Clinic