Encopresis question

I’m wondering if anyone has experience with this for their child. My 4yo has been struggling with encopresis for a while. She just had a big clean-out, and stopped having accidents for about a week. She’s currently on a regimen of 1 capful miralax daily. She has been having a pattern of BMs where she won’t have any one day and then the next day she will have 2-3 medium to large ones. They’re very soft. However, a week after the clean-out she started having poop stained underwear again. Like 1-3 T of poop, enough to be messy but not a full BM. What gives? Is it just desensitization due to the prior constipation? Is there anything we can do? She says she doesn’t feel it come out, but if we ask to check her when we smell it she refuses to let us. If she’s clean she lets us check her. So she knows, but we’re not sure she has much control over it. Most of her BMs are ending up in the toilet, save for the occasional one at night that she does in her pull-up.


I think @Economista or someone else on her journal said it could take up to a year for the bowels to return to a normal size once everything is under control and cleared out so it might be due to the bowels still being extra stretchy?

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Yes! We are struggling with this too and it can take up to a year for the colon to go back to it’s normal size and for full control to come back. Here is the video that the GI doctors here made to explain it to kids. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgBj7Mc_4sc

Side note - my daughters LOVE this video and ask to watch it all the time. Our doctor also explained the steps they mention in this video, mainly that after the clean out you do continue the daily miralax and after every meal you sit the child on the toilet for a good long period of time to give them a chance to poo. We set a timer for 5 minutes and they are not allowed to get off the toilet until the timer goes off. They also need to have their feet flat on a stool in front of them, so we have a little stool by each toilet now. Last night D2 was yelling at me because her stool got moved to another room and so it wasn’t next to the toilet. She said she couldn’t let out her poop without it and then lectured me about the “poop video” said you must have it. But who do you think moved the stool, hmmm? :joy:

Fwiw this is helping us immensely and we are back to no more poo accidents after just a few weeks of this.


I am in amazement. My DD had bowel control issues, and we were never given any advice or help. The doctors blamed it on us and poor potty training. We tried everything! We had people who had her in daycare, friends and people who had other kids with the same problem, try everything. She was still having problems at 15 years old! They really can’t tell me she wanted to have bowel trouble at fifteen! They switched from blaming us to blaming her when she was 9 or 10 years old. I was disgusted.

A paediatric nurse from California visited a caregiver one day, and when I picked my DD up (she was 7), sat me down and told me her BMs weren’t normal. She thought she had a twisted bowel. :disappointed:.

We went to three specialists in two major cities through two different family doctors, and were told “It’s your fault. You must have traumatized her during potty training.”, “What does it matter? She hasn’t got spina bifida!” And “She has a good case of Peter Pan Syndrome.” Oh, and let’s not forget the child psychologist who told us it was because we didn’t hug her enough. We were puzzled by that last one. DD liked to squirm away to play and didn’t like to be held! She was 3 years old when that one was levelled at us.

Good for you for finding the help your child needs! And for being in a position to help. This is one case where I wished we had the money to take her stateside to the Mayo Clinic. But with DH on a lowly librarian salary and me working for a sign shop, the money just wasn’t there.

Sorry to hijack your journal. You obviouSly hit a nerve with me. Back to the topic at hand folks.

Congratulations on the success of the video!


@Economista thank you for that information, that is so helpful. I watched the video with DD and she was BEAMING. I think she felt heard and understood. It was very sweet. She also was really motivated to try sitting on the toilet after every meal. She didn’t have to poop at those times, which she found very disappointing, but she did manage to get one in the potty at bedtime. She is trying, she just truly can’t feel it.

@PinkTutu I’m so sorry you went through so much with your daughter. It sounds like her medical team just didn’t have the correct information to guide you with! I can’t even imagine being told the things you were told, and having the problems persist until she was 15. It must’ve been a nightmare.


This makes my heart happy :heart:


Oh, this is soooo good! I’m so glad this is working for you…and her!

All is good now…as far as I know. She’s almost 40 years old. I haven’t heard anything for decades now. Around 15 she stopped discussing it.