Bowel incontinence, or faecal incontinence, is when you have problems controlling your bowels.
It can be very upsetting and embarrassing, but it's important to get medical advice if you have it because treatment can help.
Bowel incontinence can affect people in different ways.
You may have a problem if:
- You have sudden urges to poo that you can't control
- You soil yourself without realising you needed the toilet
- You sometimes leak poo – for example, when you pass wind
- It happens every day or from time to time – a one-off "accident" when you're ill with diarrhoea isn't usually a problem
- It’s affecting your daily life – for example, it stops you socialising
You may also have other symptoms, such as constipation, diarrhoea, passing wind or bloating.