Nobody wants to talk about or even imagine it. But loss of bowel control — known as fecal incontinence — is a problem for millions of adults in the United States, especially women.
“It becomes more common with age. It’s socially isolating and takes away your dignity. You live in fear that you have stool in your pants and people can smell it. Some people won’t even tell their doctors about it,” says Dr. Kyle Staller, a gastroenterologist at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital.