International Journal of Colorectal Disease

, Volume 34, Issue 3, pp 387–391 | Cite as

A review of the effect of faecal incontinence and constipation on sexual function

  • G. P. ThomasEmail author
  • Y. Maeda
  • C. J. Vaizey



Faecal incontinence and constipation are common conditions which may adversely affect quality of life. They may have an adverse effect on sexual function.


This review of the published literature aimed to assess the published evidence.


Only seven published studies have reported the effect of these conditions on sexual function. Four reported on those with faecal incontinence. Two reported on those with faecal incontinence and constipation and one reported solely on constipation. All were questionnaire-based studies or retrospective reviews of institutional databases. A heterogenous mix of different measures of sexual function were applied. Conflicting findings were reported. Some studies suggested that those with faecal incontinence and constipation may have adverse sexual experiences. Others suggest that these pelvic floor disorders have no significant effect.


Further work is needed to investigate this. Large questionnaire studies with normal subject controls and adjustment for confounding factors are likely to be needed.


Sexual function Faecal incontinence Constipation Sexual dysfunction 



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Sir Alan Parks Department of PhysiologySt Mark’s Hospital and Academic InstituteHarrowUK

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