incomplete bowel emptying: I often find that... - IBS Network

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incomplete bowel emptying

I often find that when I open my bowels, some gets left behind, & no matter how carefully I clean myself afterwards, I have leakage of stool that some times goes on all day. I`m so fed up with this because not only is it uncomfortable, It makes me feel dirty & I have to wear some tissue paper in my underwear when go out because I`m really worried about staining my underwear. There`s also the worry that other people might notice a smell, especially in hot weather. I would talk to my gp about this, but I`m so embarassed. Do any members on this site have any ideas about what could be causing this, & what should I do about it?

12 Replies

Not sure if this will help, and it is only a none professional comment, but if I have that sometimes I use a product that makes the stools less 'sticky' and that makes for a cleaner operation after moving the bowel. IE the tissue is hardly fouled.

Lepicol from The healthy bowels Co. Contains probiotic cultures and psyllium husks.

Might not do for everyone but i use it once a day only and stop after three days or so.


Thank you I might try these x


You should absolutely 100% see your doctor. It is their job, and there is no need to be embarrassed. They have always seen worse, and heard worse, and you are just one of many. And without a doubt will want to help you. Depending on your age and risk factors, and whether you've been checked before, a rectal exam (which is quick and painless) should be done to exclude rectal cancer, which can give a feeling of incomplete emptying.


Could it be mucus that you pass after a bowel movement?

I have this problem a lot with IBS and sometimes a small amount of stool is passed along with the mucus. I have also found that a lot of wiping stimulates more mucus being passed.

For me, the most practical way of coping with this problem is to use panty liners or pads (which have waterproof backing sheet) attached to underwear, these also absorb odour.

Also, moist toilet wipes containing Aloe Vera are soothing and cleansing. If I feel sore after a lot of wiping I use a little E45 cream applied to the area.

I hope this is some help to you. I would be interested to know how other network members deal with this mucus problem.

As you say, it can make you feel unclean and uncomfortable.


I have similar issues mainly as a result of long term nuerological problems.

I have to self catherterise which I manage ok. The bowels and digestive tract are complicated.

Your first port of call is NOT to feel embarrased about your condition. Please accept that you have an issue to deal with!

Get an appointment with your doctor and tell her/him as it is for you. They are trained listeners. Your doctor is likely to refer you to a continence nurse, as he did for me.

These nurses are well trained in all things continent and there will be no suprises to them I assure you.

Be brave and 'Go For It'.

Best - Mike


Don't know if this helps, but my son had this problem for some time. We thought he was just being lazy at first and not making it to the toilet in time. The number of pairs of pants we had to throw away was ridiculous. However, took him to the doctors and the doctor diagnosed compaction. I.e. severe constipation in which looser stools leak around the compacted stool. He was prescribed lactulose and a few doses of that and he was pretty much ok.

I also get a similar problem in that I can't empty my bowels properly and then feel uncomfortable. As John43 says sometimes taking something to make stools less sticky works. I have found that if I have anything high in fibre I get the 'sticky' problem. So eating a low fibre diet and occasionally taking lactulose largely keeps it at bay for me. Everyone's different though, but might be worth a try in case it is fibre causing the problem.


I finally plucked up the courage to speak to my doctor about this problem this morning. She did the dreaded anal examinination, & told me that my sphincter muscle is working fine, which was one of the things that I was worried about. She said that it`s unlikely to be anything serious, but she is reffering me to a colorectal specialist to check everything out.

1 like

well done for being brave enough to get something done!


I am in same boat with this and don't want to go to Drs, although should do really, it is horrible, especially when doing an exercise class as am worried leaking may occur! not sure whether it is the mucus as have had that for a long time, or some stool that is left so to speak, not nice!


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I was sent to a colorectal specialist, & he told me that I have developed a weakness in my rectal muscle as a result of a difficult labour 40 years ago, & the only reason that the problem showed up now is because lack of oestrogen a the menopause caused the back wall of my vagina to weaken & make a pouch called a rectocyle, apparently very common in women of my age whov`e had children. I took part in a trial of something called electrostimulation, where they put electrodes on my ankle to make the rectal muscles start working again. In my case this didn`t work, & I`m waiting for the next step, which may involve surgery. If I`d known this was going to happen to me, I`d never have had children!


I use always discrete for protection when I have leakage . It just make feel my comfortable. Now looking for which foods might help xx


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