While faecal incontinence is more common in the elderly, it also affects young, fit and generally healthy people. Causes include:
- Injury to the muscles or nerves of the anal sphincter during childbirth - most common cause.
- Chronic constipation.
- Faecal impaction and rectal prolapse.
- Injury to the anal sphincter from an accident or surgery (fistula, fissure, haemorrhoids).
- Diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease.
- Congenital conditions.
- Other health conditions such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis, spinal injuries and dementia.
- Some medications.