International Journal of Colorectal Disease

, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 401–406 | Cite as

Suffering in silence: a community-based study of fecal incontinence in women

  • Masoomeh Alimohammadian
  • Batoul Ahmadi
  • Leila Janani
  • Bahar Mahjubi
Original Article



Fecal incontinence (FI) is a very common problem in women especially among the elderly. Women with FI experience significant physical and psychological disability and lifestyle limitations. This study attempts to estimate FI among community women above 40 years of age and its associated risk factors in Tehran, Iran.

Study design

In this cross-sectional study, via cluster sampling, a total of 800 community middle-aged women were randomly selected and interviewed using a questionnaire.


Prevalence of FI was 18.4 %. Our findings show that FI was associated with UI, osteoarthritis, diabetes mellitus, and inflammatory bowel disease.


FI was a prevalent condition in Iranian middle-aged women. Future efforts should be aimed at screening FI in women, offering services to treat them, reducing personal and complication-related costs, and improving their quality of life.


Fecal incontinence Women's health Risk factors 



The study was supported by the Tehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS), Tehran, Iran.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

The study was approved by the university's institutional review board, and all participants gave written informed consent forms.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Masoomeh Alimohammadian
    • 1
  • Batoul Ahmadi
    • 2
  • Leila Janani
    • 3
  • Bahar Mahjubi
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Human Ecology, School of Public HealthTehran University of Medical ScienceTehranIran
  2. 2.Department of Health Management and Economics, School of Public HealthTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  3. 3.Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public HealthTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  4. 4.Hazrat Rasoul Akram University HospitalIran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran

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