Alternative to Adult diapers in Faecal Incontinence
Contrary to what many people might think, faecal incontinence is quite a common condition—and not only amongst the elderly and the infirm. Some people, for one reason or another, experience injuries or tears to the circular ring of muscles closing the anus leading to the development of faecal incontinence.
Causes of Faecal incontinence.
The commonest cause of tearing in the anal sphincter is complication of a difficult delivery, known as obstetric complications, in which the midwife or doctor had to use instruments, such as the forceps, to extract the baby. The anal sphincter can also be injured because of a major surgical procedure for the removal of a tumour or anal surgery. Anal tears are a common cause of bowel incontinence in women.
Other conditions that cause severe pelvic muscle floor weakness can easily cause faecal incontinence. Such conditions include severe neurological disease (Multiple Sclerosis, Spina bifia, severe spinal cord injury).
Products used for Faecal Incontinence
Most patients with faecal incontinence are satisfied using protective incontinence products such as the absorptive incontinence pads, the All-in-One briefs, and the pull-up pants. The concept behind the use of these products is simple. They act as a barrier between the faeces and the patient’s under garments preventing their soiling. They are then removed and disposed of to be replaced by a fresh product and so on. Patients with mild bowel incontinence, who may just have streaks of stool passing involuntarily, usually find these protective products very convenient and efficient. Patients who suffer from severe incontinence need to use adult diapers in order to maximally control the leakage.
However, some patients’ lives suffer considerably because of their constant worry about the faecal soiling. This is a problem especially with the young and active. The feel of a soiled pad rubbing against their body is definitely not conducive to their exercise routine, or the activity in their daily lives. Some other patients suffer from stool incontinence accompanied by prolapse (or drooping of the anal lining) and are extremely discomfited by it. Anal plugs may offer these patients some relief because they prevent stool from leaking altogether.
How are Anal Plugs Used for Anal Incontinence
Anal plugs are medical devices made of a porous absorbent material that lets air in and blocks the leaks entirely offering the patient a few hours of faecal incontinence free life. Anal plugs are available in two sizes. It is always recommended to try the smaller size first. Only use the bigger size if leakage continues. You will need to consult with your physician before you can buy it. The only brand available in the UK is the “Peristeen anal plug”, and it is available by prescription only.
It is worth noting that anal plugs can only be used for a short period of time. They are not a permanent protective product that you can rely on. It should be kept for occasions where you need the most protection. Otherwise, rely on the good old pad for your basic faecal incontinence needs