Anal incontinence - what the gynaecologist should know
Due to the associated social stigma, most women experiencing symptoms of anal incontinence (AI) do not seek medical assistance or volunteer their symptoms when consulting a healthcare provider for other conditions. As gynaecologists, we regularly have contact with women who could be experiencing AI, particularly those with urinary incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse, those who have undergone pelvic radiotherapy or women following childbirth. Although most of the investigations and specific management for patients with AI will be performed by other members of the multidisciplinary healthcare team (e.g. colorectal surgeons, dieticians, occupational therapists, physiotherapists) we have an important role to play in identifying these patients and referring them appropriately.
Keywords: Anal incontinence; Faecal incontinence; Obstetric anal sphincter injury