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Constipation and faecal impaction

An impacted bowel presses on the urethra and/or bladder and stretches the pelvic floor. Read this article to find out more about the implications.
© Association for Continence Advice. CC BY-NC 4.0

An impacted bowel presses on the urethra and/or bladder and stretches the pelvic floor. This can result in difficulties emptying the bladder and can cause retention of urine. If a catheter is in situ, the impacted bowel can also block the catheter.

The residual urine caused by the obstruction is then prone to infection.

Soiling/faecal leakage, as can occur when severe constipation leads to overflow leakage, is another cause of a urinary tract infection (UTI) due to the faecal contamination.

Clinical practice notes – proactive care:
  • Discuss what ‘constipation’ and ‘faecal impaction’ is
  • Discuss the causes of constipation
  • Support the person to identify if they are at risk of constipation
  • Support the person to plan lifestyle changes to help prevent constipation

This condition will be explored further in Week 4: Bowel function and dysfunction.

© Association for Continence Advice. CC BY-NC 4.0
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Understanding Continence Promotion: Effective Management of Bladder and Bowel Dysfunction in Adults

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