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by Carson-DeWitt R

(Stool Soiling; Fecal Incontinence; Soiling, Stool)



Encopresis may be caused by a variety of conditions such as:
  • Chronic constipation
    • Most common cause
    • When a large amount of hard, dry stool is filling the rectum, over time the child becomes unable to recognize the sensation of fullness and the need to go to the bathroom.
    • Liquid stool may leak around the hard mass of stool, causing staining of the underwear.
    • May be associated with a diet low in fiber and fluids, and lack of exercise
  • Poor toilet training or refusal to use the toilet for bowel movements
  • Emotional problems
  • Organic causes (rare)—result of problems or malformations in the intestines

Risk Factors

Risk factors include:
Bowel and Rectum
Anal fissure and fistula
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

RESOURCES – American Academy of Family Physicians

National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse



Canadian Digestive Health Foundation

Health Canada



Encopresis. Nemours kids health website. Available at: Updated January 2012. Accessed August 9, 2012.

Fecal soiling. American Academy of Pediatrics Health Children website. Available at: Updated May 2011. Accessed August 9, 2012.

Fecal incontinence in children (encopresis). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: May 11, 2012. Accessed August 9, 2012.

Stool soiling and constipation in children. American Family Physician Family Doctor website. Available at: Updated November 2011. Accessed August 9, 2012.


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