Anal incontinence in women presenting for gynecologic care: prevalence, risk factors, and impact upon quality of life.

Academic Article


  • OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to estimate the prevalence and impact upon quality of life of anal incontinence (AI) in women aged 18 to 65. STUDY DESIGN: Consecutive women presenting for general gynecologic care were given a bowel function questionnaire. Women with AI were prompted to complete the Fecal Incontinence Severity Index (FISI) and Fecal Incontinence Quality of Life Scale (FIQL). RESULTS: The cohort was composed of 457 women with a mean age of 39.9 +/- 11 years. AI prevalence was 28.4% (95% CI 24.4-32.8). After logistic regression, IBS (OR 3.22, 1.75-5.93), constipation (OR 2.11, 1.22-3.63), age (OR 1.05, 1.03-1.07), and BMI (OR 1.04, 1.01-1.08) remained significant risk factors. The mean FISI score was 20.4 +/- 12.4. Women with only flatal incontinence scored higher, and women with liquid loss scored lower on all 4 scales of the FIQL. CONCLUSION: AI is prevalent in women seeking benign gynecologic care, and liquid stool incontinence has the greatest impact upon quality of life.
  • Authors


  • Adult, Aging, Body Mass Index, Cohort Studies, Constipation, Delivery of Health Care, Diarrhea, Fecal Incontinence, Female, Gynecology, Humans, Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, Logistic Models, Middle Aged, Odds Ratio, Prevalence, Quality of Life, Risk Factors, Severity of Illness Index, Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Boreham MK; Richter HE; Kenton KS; Nager CW; Gregory WT; Aronson MP; Vogt VY; McIntire DD; Schaffer JI
  • Start Page

  • 1637
  • End Page

  • 1642
  • Volume

  • 192
  • Issue

  • 5