To diagnose your child's condition, your child's pediatrician will ask about your child's health history and will do a physical exam. The provider will also ask about their symptoms.
When you describe the symptoms, include:
- Any diet or physical activity that seems to cause your problem
- How severe the leaking stool is
- Related problems such as pain, constipation, or illness
- When the leaking occurs
Your child may need imaging tests, such as:
- Anal manometry. Your pediatrician uses a thin, flexible tube to check how well the muscles and nerves around the anus and rectum are working.
- MRI. MRI imaging may help find problems with the structure of the anus and rectum.
- Anorectal ultrasound. Sound waves make images of the structures in the anus and rectum.
- Proctography. This is an X-ray that helps your child's pediatrician find out how much stool they can store in their rectum and how their body handles stool.
- Proctosigmoidoscopy. Your pediatrician will use a flexible tube to look inside the rectum and lower intestine. He or she will look for scars, inflammation, or other conditions.
- Anal electromyography. This test looks for signs of nerve damage in the pelvic floor and rectum.
Your child's pediatrician may also ask about their emotional health and quality of life. This is done to find out how the condition is affecting them. Fecal incontinence can threaten self-confidence. And your child may worry about everything from odors to their appearance.