Incomplete Bowel Emptying

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Medically Reviewed By:

Aiko Yoshioka

Aiko Yoshioka, MD

Gastroenterology

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Content updated on Sep 6, 2022

About the symptom

Sense of fecal retention describes the feeling of discomfort in the body due to gastrointestinal pressure from waste buildup, which is the result of constant constipation when poop is stuck inside of the rectum.

When to see a doctor

Seek professional care if you experience any of the following symptoms

  • Unable to completely empty the bowels

Possible causes

  • Descent of uterus / uterine prolapse

    Protrusion of the uterus (womb) outside of the body. This happens when the muscles and tissues that support the womb become weakened (e.g. after repeated childbirths, aging), allowing the womb to drop out.

  • Colon cancer

    Cancer of the large intestines. It can be treated easily in the early stage, hence the general population is encouraged to go for screening with stool blood tests and colonoscopy (camera screening).

  • Rectal cancer

    Rectal cancer is cancer that begins in the rectum. Malignant, or cancerous cells form in the tissue of the rectum and can spread to other parts of your body.

  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Neurogenic intrapelvic syndrome

Questions your doctor may ask about this symptom

Your doctor may ask these questions to check for this symptom

  • Do you feel like you have not completely emptied your bowels?

  • Do you have a fever?

  • Do you have hard stools or constipation recently?

  • Is there blood in your stool?

  • Do you have nausea or vomiting?

Other Related Symptoms

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Medically Reviewed By:

Aiko Yoshioka

Aiko Yoshioka, MD

Gastroenterology

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Developed by doctors.

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