Although many families do not initially realize this, in the vast majority of cases, encopresis develops as a result of long-standing constipation. Most children suffering from encopresis have a history of constipation or passing very large, painful poops. Given the large role constipation plays in encopresis, most clinicians who treat encopresis closely follow the constipation research as well.  Based on a clinical study (see below), doctors stress the importance of addressing childhood constipation and encopresis quickly to improve the long-term prognosis.

Long-Term Prognosis for Childhood Constipation: Clinical Outcomes for Adults, a research article published in the journal Pediatrics, was comprised of a study of 401 children, between the ages of 5 and 18.  These children were all diagnosed with functional constipation.  Outcomes revealed that 25% of children with functional constipation continued to experience symptoms as adults.  Children who were older when diagnosed, who experienced a longer delay between beginning of symptoms and referral to a specialized pediatric gastroenterologist, and those with less frequent bowel movements when first assessed were all at greatest risk for continued problems as adults.  This study stresses the importance of acting quickly when a child experiences constipation.  The earlier the constipation and encopresis are resolved, the better the outcome over the long-term.
For more information on this article and to understand how UCanPoopToo can help you both take action now and regularly monitor your child’s progress, visit