Encopresis Basics

Guides

Encopresis: What to Look For

Encopresis is condition in which a child older than 4 repeatedly defecates in inappropriate places, such as clothing or the floor.

Some children with encopresis may have problems with their bowel functioning, including constipation and overflow incontenance. In some instances, often for unknown reasons, a child may resist having bowel movements; this causes impacted stools to build up in the colon and rectum, and liquid stool to leak out around it.  This liquid is hard for the child to control so it leaks out as fecal incontinence.

In cases where constipation or withholding stools is not at issue, the feces are a more normal consistency, and the defecation takes places at times and places that are inappropriate. It can be related to many disorders, including developmental disorders and even oppositional defiant disorder or conduct disorder.