What are the causes and remedies for bladder/bowel dysfunction?

Symptom Database

Bladder and bowel dysfunction can be a distressing and embarrassing condition that affects many individuals. It can significantly impact a person’s quality of life and daily activities. In this article, we will explore the causes and remedies for bladder and bowel dysfunction, including urinary and fecal incontinence, bladder and bowel control, pelvic floor exercises, bladder and bowel training, and pelvic floor dysfunction.

Understanding Bladder Dysfunction

Bladder dysfunction refers to the inability to control the release of urine, leading to urinary incontinence. This condition can manifest in various ways, such as frequent urination, urgency to urinate, or leakage of urine. It can be caused by several factors, including:

  • Weak pelvic floor muscles
  • Nerve damage
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Hormonal changes
  • Obstruction in the urinary tract

To address bladder dysfunction, there are several remedies that can be effective:

Pelvic Floor Exercises

Pelvic floor exercises, also known as Kegel exercises, are a popular and effective way to strengthen the muscles that support the bladder. These exercises involve contracting and relaxing the pelvic floor muscles, which can improve bladder control and reduce urinary incontinence. Regular practice of pelvic floor exercises can lead to significant improvements in bladder function.

Bladder Training

Bladder training involves gradually increasing the time between bathroom visits to train the bladder to hold urine for longer periods. This technique can be helpful for individuals with an overactive bladder or frequent urination. By gradually extending the time between bathroom breaks, the bladder can learn to hold larger volumes of urine, reducing the frequency of urination and improving bladder control.

Understanding Bowel Dysfunction

Bowel dysfunction, on the other hand, refers to the inability to control bowel movements, resulting in fecal incontinence. This condition can cause involuntary leakage of stool or difficulty in controlling bowel movements. Bowel dysfunction can be caused by various factors, including:

  • Weakened anal sphincter muscles
  • Nerve damage
  • Chronic constipation
  • Rectal prolapse
  • Diarrhea

Similar to bladder dysfunction, there are remedies available to address bowel dysfunction:

Pelvic Floor Exercises

Pelvic floor exercises are not only beneficial for bladder dysfunction but also for bowel dysfunction. Strengthening the pelvic floor muscles can improve the control and coordination of bowel movements. By regularly practicing pelvic floor exercises, individuals with bowel dysfunction can experience a reduction in fecal incontinence and regain better control over their bowel movements.

Bowel Training

Bowel training involves establishing a regular bowel movement routine to improve bowel control. This technique can be particularly helpful for individuals with chronic constipation or irregular bowel movements. By setting aside specific times for bowel movements and following a consistent routine, individuals can train their bowels to become more regular and predictable, reducing the risk of fecal incontinence.

Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

Pelvic floor dysfunction refers to a condition where the pelvic floor muscles are weakened or impaired, leading to various bladder and bowel dysfunctions. It can cause symptoms such as urinary and fecal incontinence, pelvic pain, and difficulty emptying the bladder or bowels. Pelvic floor dysfunction can be caused by factors such as pregnancy, childbirth, obesity, and certain medical conditions.

To address pelvic floor dysfunction, a combination of pelvic floor exercises, bladder training, and bowel training can be beneficial. Additionally, seeking professional help from a pelvic floor physical therapist or healthcare provider specializing in pelvic floor disorders can provide valuable guidance and treatment options.


Bladder and bowel dysfunction can significantly impact an individual’s daily life and well-being. However, there are various causes and remedies for these conditions. By understanding the underlying causes and implementing appropriate remedies such as pelvic floor exercises, bladder and bowel training, and seeking professional help for pelvic floor dysfunction, individuals can regain control over their bladder and bowel functions.

It is important to remember that each individual’s experience with bladder and bowel dysfunction may vary, and what works for one person may not work for another. Therefore, it is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the most suitable treatment plan for your specific needs. With the right approach and support, bladder and bowel dysfunction can be effectively managed, allowing individuals to lead a more comfortable and fulfilling life.

Haroon Rashid, MD
Rate author
Urgent Care Center of Arlington, VA
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