Encopresis occurs when the colon becomes too full and liquid stool (bowel impaction) involuntarily leaks into the underwear. Encopresis is sometimes mistaken for diarrhea.
Also known as soiling or fecal incontinence, encopresis is the repeated, involuntary leaking of stool into a child’s underwear. In most cases, encopresis occurs due to chronic (long-term) constipation. When the colon and rectum become too full of impacted stool (as in constipation), liquid stool leaks around the impact, out of the rectum and into the underwear.
Encopresis is typically diagnosed in children age 4 or older, after they’ve been toilet trained.
Chronic constipation is the typical cause of encopresis. Much less frequently, emotional issues can cause encopresis.
All treatment options should be discussed with your child's healthcare provider first.
American Board of Pediatrics,
American Board of Pediatrics/Gastroenterology