Information for the public

Next steps: specialised management

If the first steps in managing faecal incontinence don't help you, you may be referred to a specialist continence service. Here you will have the chance to discuss whether any of the following options may be suitable for you:

  • pelvic floor muscle exercises (to improve the coordination and strength of the pelvic muscles)

  • bowel retraining (education about how the bowel works, and training to modify bowel function)

  • specialist dietary assessment and management

  • biofeedback (this includes aspects of bowel retraining and also physical treatments to improve bowel and pelvic floor coordination)

  • electrical stimulation (applying tiny, safe electric currents to the anus in order to improve coordination and strength)

  • rectal irrigation.

If you opt for pelvic floor muscle exercises, a trained healthcare professional should plan a programme with you, including regular assessment of your symptoms to see how well the exercises are going.

What happens if specialised management does not work?

If the treatments mentioned above haven't helped you, your healthcare professional should consider referring you for special tests.