These days it’s no big deal to have a laugh and chat about leaking urine – but there are other types of incontinence that are not mentioned nearly as freely. And often have greater impact on your wellbeing.
Anal Incontinence (AI) describes the involuntary loss of faeces of flatus. Faecal incontinence is experienced by 11-15% of adults. Nearly 40% of women experience AI after childbirth.
It can describe involuntary loss due to poor anal closure and sensation or the inability to hold stools or flatus when overwhelmed with an urge.
Most new symptoms of anal incontinence occur in the first year after childbirth.
Risk is increased by:
- Vaginal delivery
- Pelvic floor muscle dysfunction
- Increasing Age
- Subsequent delivery
Faecal and Flatus incontinence can have a large physical and emotional impact on your childbearing year.
Current evidence suggests management should include:
- Early identification at the time of delivery of sphincter tears
- Management of constipation
- Pelvic floor muscle training
- Education and shared decision about future childbearing decisions.
We commonly see AI and are well equipped to assess, educate and help you manage and improve your symptoms. It’s never too late to talk to us.
We also recommend a 6 week follow up appointment for all new mums to assess symptoms such as this. Early intervention helps.