Question and Answer with an Encopresis Expert

Parents often ask excellent questions of our encopresis experts and we find the responses are helpful to many families.  One parent recently needed help with the following:


My child says he doesn’t feel the poop coming out and that’s why he has continued to have accidents.  Can this be true?

Encopresis Expert Response

Encopresis occurs after a child has a hard, painful poop, or more than likely several hard and painful poops.  The pain causes the child to tighten the muscles that are used to have a poop, instead of relaxing them.  This is not intentional or on purpose, but is the body’s response to the pain that it felt.  As time goes on and the withholding has become natural to the child, stool gets backed up in the colon and the child becomes very full of the stool.  As a result, there can be loose stool that leaks around that retained stool that the child cannot feel.  This in turn will likely cause soiling accidents of which the child may be unaware.

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