Anorectal Disorders

  • Clinical Updates in Women's Health Care CU
  • January 2010

ABSTRACT: Anorectal disorders, including constipation and fecal incontinence, are common in women of all ages. The myriad symptoms can range from occasionally bothersome constipation to life-altering fecal incontinence that leaves the woman afraid to socialize outside of her home. Obstetrician– gynecologists often are the first health care providers women consult who can address these concerns. Many symptoms may arise as a consequence of childbirth or at the time of menopause because bowel disorders increase with advancing age. The clinician routinely should ask the patient if she has symptoms of bowel control disorders. Prudent use of diagnostic tests, such as colonoscopy, colonic transit tests, defecography, anal manometry, and endoanal ultrasonography can assist the practitioner in determining which elements are principally responsible for patients’ disorders.

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