Fecal incontinence is associated with the inability of individuals to control bowel movements, causing unexpected leakage of stool leading to complete loss of bowel control. Fecal incontinence is also known as bowel incontinence. It is caused due to constipation, diarrhea, and nerve damage which is linked with aging. Fecal incontinence is of two types: urge incontinence (an individual is not able to resist the urge to excrete) and passive incontinence (an individual is not aware of the sensation before soiling oneself).
Fecal incontinence can be caused due to muscle damage associated with damage of anal sphincter. This type of muscle damage takes place during child birth. Nerve damage can also led to fecal incontinence leading to loss of control over anal sphincter. The primary reason for nerve damage can be diseases such as multiple sclerosis, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s. Other causes of fecal incontinence are surgery, rectal prolapse, and rectocele. Complications associated with fecal incontinence include emotional distress and skin irritation. Emotional distress is also linked with the loss of bowel control, leading to shame, embarrassment, anger, frustration, and depression.
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Fecal incontinence diagnosis is carried out through medical examination test, which include digital rectal examination, balloon expulsion test, anal manometry, proctography, proctosigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Treatment of fecal incontinence involves usage of anti-diarrheal drugs such as loperamide hydrochloride, laxatives (psyllium), and injectable bulking agents such as hyaluronate sodium. Surgery can also be prescribed in certain adverse cases.
Different types of surgical procedures used to treat fecal incontinence are sphincteroplasty, surgical correction of rectocele or hemorrhoids, sphincter replacement, colostomy, or bowel diversion. Around 1.4% of the general population over 40 years of age is affected by fecal incontinence and nearly 3% to 15% of the population is affected by constipation. According to the Continence Foundation of Australia, nearly 4.8 million people in Australia experience bladder or bowel control problems. Fecal incontinence affects nearly 20% of men and approximately 12.9% of women in Australia.
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Major drivers of the global fecal incontinence market are increase in prevalence of diseases which result in the loss of muscle control and lead to gastrointestinal disorders, rise in the pharmaceutical industry, surge in demand for fecal incontinence products, growing awareness about personal hygiene, rise in geriatric population, and technological innovation in continence product development. Factors restraining the market are social stigma, emotional distress, increasing cost of health care suppliers, inadequate knowledge about the treatment of fecal incontinence in developing countries, and stringent regulations and reimbursement policies.
The global fecal incontinence market can be segmented into five regions: North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. North America is expected to hold a major share of the market in terms of revenue. Dominance of the region is attributed to higher acceptance of fecal incontinence products, increase in awareness, presence of major market leaders in the region, better health care facilities in terms of health care expenditure, and increase in prevalence of chronic diseases. The market in Europe trails closely behind the North America market.
The fecal incontinence market in Asia Pacific is expected to expand at a high CAGR during the forecast period due to rapidly increasing geriatric population, health care infrastructure, public and private collaboration to spread awareness among individuals about personal hygiene, higher rate of adoption of newer technology in product development, fast growing economies such as India, and expansion of business and product portfolio by major market players in the region. The market in Latin America and Middle East & Africa is expected to provide a lucrative growth opportunity during the forecast period due to favorable economic reforms in promoting the health care industry.
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Major players operating in the global fecal incontinence market are Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Medline Industries Inc., Coloplast A/S, and B. Braun Melsungen AG.