Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Dis Colon Rectum. 2001 Dec;44(12):1850-6.

The prevalence and determinants of health care-seeking behavior for fecal incontinence in multiparous United Arab Emirates females.

Author information

  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Tawam Hospital, United Arab Emirates University, P.O. Box 17666, Al-Ain, United Arab Emirates.



This study was designed to determine the prevalence and sociodemographics of fecal incontinence in United Arab Emirates females.


A representative sample of multiparous United Arab Emirates females aged 20 years or older (N = 450) were randomly selected from the community (n = 225) and health care centers (n = 225). Patients were interviewed about inappropriate stool loss in the past year using a structured and pretested questionnaire.


Fifty-one participants (11.3 percent) admitted fecal incontinence; 26 (5.8 percent) were incontinent to liquid stool and 25 (5.5 percent) to solid stool. Thirty-eight patients (8.4 percent) had double (urinary and fecal) incontinence. Sixty-five patients (14.4 percent) were incontinent to flatus only but not to stools. The association between having fecal incontinence and chronic constipation was significant (P < 0.0001), but there was no significant association with other known risk factors such as age, parity, and previous instrumental delivery, episiotomy, perineal tears, or anorectal operations. Only 21 incontinent patients (41 percent) had sought medical advice. Patients did not seek medical advice because they were embarrassed to consult their physician (64.7 percent), they preferred to discuss the difficulty with friends, assuming that fecal incontinence would resolve spontaneously (47.1 percent) or was normal (31.3 percent), and they chose self-treatment as a result of low expectations for medical care (23.5 percent). Sufferers were bothered by the inability to pray (92.2 percent) and to have sexual intercourse (43.1 percent). Perceived causes of fecal incontinence were paralysis (90.2 percent), old age (80.4 percent), childbirth (23.5 percent), or menopause (19.6 percent).


Fecal incontinence is common yet underreported by multiparous United Arab Emirates females because of cultural attitudes and inadequate public knowledge.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk