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Home » Health Awareness » How life-changing bowel incontinence treatment ended my 25 years of suffering

Patient Story


Bowel incontinence, also known as faecal incontinence, is an inability to control one’s bowel movements. However, effective solutions now exist.

Throughout early life, I was misdiagnosed with ‘diarrhoea predominant IBS,’ and I lived with this diagnosis for 25 years. I would have catastrophic episodes of incontinence. It only got worse. 

Psychological impacts of bowel incontinence 

Every time I lose control of my environment, the panic attacks would begin; the adrenaline would flow; gut motility would increase. I would have no control over my bowel functions. It’s life-altering, and people suffer from it for years because no one wants to talk about it.  

When I was finally willing to talk about it, I felt liberated. It affects your social life; sexual life; mental health — every element of life. The panic attacks could be severe. That doesn’t disappear as soon as you put in the SNS (sacral nerve stimulator).  

More patients and healthcare providers
should be more aware of the success
of finding the right treatment. 

Journey of seeking help for incontinence: ups and downs 

I have had two stimulator devices (also known as sacral nerve stimulation) fitted. Before that, I had seen several GPs and three good gastroenterologists, but they didn’t seem aware of the life-changing treatment available.  

It was only when I went to a specialist hospital, that I got the help I needed. However, even with the wonderful care I had, there was no attention to looking after the psychological effects. 

I had the Interstim II fitted and had that for seven years. Unfortunately, it ran out of battery just as the pandemic hit. I was back to square one for nine months and had to go back to adult nappies. It was very emotionally distressing.  

More advanced solution to bowel incontinence  

When I finally had the operation, I opted for the latest rechargeable microdevice (InterStim Micro). It allowed me to get full-body MRI scans, and the battery lasts up to 15 years. It can completely stop bowel urges.  

The previous one gave me more time. This second one gave me control. This treatment gave me back my life. Currently, there is a new recharge-free battery available. I’m pleased to know there are options I can choose from when it comes time for a battery replacement. More patients and healthcare providers should be more aware of the success of finding the right treatment. 

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