SymptomsBy Mayo Clinic staff
Signs and symptoms of encopresis may include:
- Leakage of stool or liquid stool on your child's underwear. If the amount of leakage is large, you may misinterpret it as diarrhea.
- Constipation with dry, hard stool.
- Passage of large stool that clogs or almost clogs the toilet.
- Avoidance of bowel movements.
- Long periods of time between bowel movements, possibly as long as a week.
- Lack of appetite.
- Abdominal pain.
- Repeated urinary tract infections.
When to see a doctor
Call your doctor if your child, who is older than age 4 and already toilet trained, begins exhibiting one or more of the symptoms listed above.
- Ferry GD. Definition, clinical manifestations, and evaluation of functional fecal incontinence in children. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Sept. 29, 2010.
- Soiling (encopresis). American Academy of Pediatrics (HealthyChildren.org). http://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/emotional-problems/pages/Soiling-Encopresis.aspx. Accessed Oct. 6, 2010.
- Har AF, et al. Encopresis. Pediatrics in Review. 2010;31:368.
- Ferry GD. Treatment of chronic functional constipation and fecal incontinence in infants and children. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Sept. 29, 2010.
- Montgomery DF, et al. Management of constipation and encopresis in children. Journal of Pediatric Health Care. 2008;22:199.
- Nijman RJ. Diagnosis and management of urinary incontinence and functional fecal incontinence (encopresis) in children. Gastroenterology Clinics of North America. 2008;37:731.
- Hoecker JL (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Oct. 7, 2010.