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Encopresis (cont.)

Encopresis Symptoms

More than 80% of children with encopresis have experienced constipation or painful defecation in the past. In many cases, constipation or pain occurred years before the encopresis is brought to medical attention.

  • Most children with encopresis say they have do not have an urge to have a bowel movement before they soil their underwear.
  • Soiling episodes usually occur during the day, while the child is awake and active. Many school age children soil late in the afternoon after returning home from school. Soiling after the child goes to sleep at night is uncommon.
  • Some children with encopresis soil while in the bathtub, shower, or swimming pool.
  • In many children with encopresis, the colon has become stretched out of shape, and so they intermittently pass extremely large bowel movements.
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Encopresis »

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Third edition (DSM-III), encopresis is defined as the "repeated involuntary passage of feces into places not appropriate for that purpose...the event must take place for at least 6 months, the chronologic and mental age of the child must be at least 4 years."

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