Wait Time

ER Wait Times

Urgent Care Wait Times

Donate to CCHC My Cape Cod Health

What Causes Fecal Incontinence?

“Fecal Incontinence could be the result of an injury during childbirth, a nerve miscommunication, a lack of fiber or a number of other conditions. On this page we talk briefly about a few of the causes of F.I., and while it’s always good to be an informed patient, remember that we won’t know how we can help you until we get to meet in person and talk about your specific situation.”

Dr. Liam Haveran


There are a number of causes of FI.  We’ll talk about a few of them here, but remember that this website can’t cover everything and every human being is different.  We recommend that you make an appointment so we can meet you in person and discuss your specific situation.

how you feel

Both diarrhea, because of its liquid stool, and constipation, because of the way the rectum reacts when it gets filled, can cause FI.


Another cause could be that your sphincter muscles have somehow gotten damaged or have become weak.


Maybe those sacral nerves have been damaged or your rectum just doesn’t stretch as it used to.


Also childbirth, particularly by a vaginal delivery, can cause fecal incontinence.  Those are few of the main causes of FI.  But we won’t be able to know what’s causing you to have difficulty controlling bowel movements until we meet.  Give us a call.”

In this short video we will talk about some of the main causes of fecal incontinence, but before we do, let’s point out some of the major players.  In our animation, this is the rectum.  The yellow lines around it are called sacral nerves.  This is the anus with its sphincters or ring-like muscles that let us control the opening to the rectum.  All of this is held in place by the lower part of our pelvic bones, what’s called the pelvic floor.


Watch this animated video on how your body works in this situation.