Anal incontinence: Prevalence among female patients attending a urogynecologic clinic

David Gordon, Asnat Groutz*, Gideon Goldman, Amiram Avni, Yoram Wolf, Joseph B. Lessing, Menachem P. David

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


The present study prospectively surveyed the prevalence of anal incontinence among 283 consecutive female patients attending a urogynecologic outpatient clinic in a maternity hospital. Data concerning bowel habits, laxative use, previous anorectal surgery, and the presence, severity, and frequency of anal incontinence were collected by interviewing the patients. Anal incontinence was reported by 83 women, representing 29% of the study population. Of those reporting anal incontinence, 30% (9% of the study population) were incontinent to solid feces, 22% (6%) to liquid feces, and 48% (14%) to gas. Age distribution demonstrates progressive rise and a high prevalence of anal incontinence in patients older than 60 years. A significant higher rate of vacuum deliveries was found among patients with anal incontinence, compared with continent patients (9.6% vs. 2.5%; P = 0.01). Increased prevalence of anal incontinence was also found among patients with past history of hemorrhoidectomy and those with urodynamic diagnosis of combined genuine stress incontinence and detrusor instability/sensory urgency. In conclusion, in patients attending a urogynecologic clinic, anal incontinence is a frequent, although rarely volunteered, symptom.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-204
Number of pages6
JournalNeurourology and Urodynamics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1999


  • Anal incontinence
  • Pelvic floor
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Urogynecology


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