Dyssynergic Defecation Medical Treatment Options

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Has your doctor told you that you have dyssynergic defecation? It may be reassuring to learn that there are ways to help to remedy the problem and ease your symptoms. Knowing what your options are can help you as you work with your doctor to devise a treatment plan. This article will provide you with an overview of what may be recommended.


Since the primary result of dyssynergic defecation is constipation, there are a variety of constipation medications that your doctor may recommend or prescribe.

Unfortunately, there is not much clinical research to attest for the effectiveness of these medicines in terms of treating dyssynergic defecation. Here are some possibilities:


Prescription Constipation Medication


Biofeedback is thought to be very effective as a treatment for dyssynergic defecation, and luckily is not as mysterious as it may sound. Biofeedback simply uses sensors and a computer to give you feedback about how your muscles and nerves are responding -- information that we are normally not conscious of. This allows you to re-train your muscles to work more effectively during a bowel movement.

Although the idea of sensors being placed down in your "private areas" may seem intimidating, at least one study has found that patients are highly satisfied with the treatment and its results.

Unfortunately, you may find it hard to find places that actually conduct this particular type of biofeedback treatment. Due to this problem, home-based biofeedback options are being explored. Here is some more specific information about how biofeedback for dyssynergic defecation works:


The primary goal of biofeedback for dyssynergic defecation is to train the muscles that make up the pelvic floor to work together in a smooth, coordinated way.

Specifically, you will be taught:

  • What is supposed to happen during the process of having a normal bowel movement.
  • How to use diaphragmatic breathing to improve your ability to push out stool.
  • How to relax pelvic floor muscles during the process of defecation.
  • How to improve your awareness of sensations regarding the need to have a bowel movement.


You can expect to attend approximately 5 one-hour sessions, once every two weeks, to achieve symptom improvement. During the procedure, electronic sensors will be placed within your rectum to measure the functioning of your anal sphincter muscles. You will see these measurements on a monitor screen. With this feedback, you will begin to use trial and error to learn how to bring about more functional responses. In some cases, a small balloon will be inserted into your rectum, offering you the opportunity to learn how to more effectively push out stool. The balloon may also be repeatedly inflated and deflated while in your rectum in order to help increase your perception of stool within the rectum.

Once the initial training is complete, you may be asked to return periodically for "booster" sessions.


Botox (botulinum toxin) injections have been investigated as a treatment for dyssynergic defecation. To date, studies have shown mixed results in terms of effectiveness and some concerns about fecal incontinence as a side effect. Unless future studies are more conclusive, at this point Botox does not seem to be a viable treatment option.

A Note about Surgery

Surgery involving the puborectalis muscle (found within the pelvic floor) had been used in the past as a way to resolve dyssynergic defecation. The risks of the procedure are quite high, particularly in terms of increasing the likelihood of ongoing problems with fecal incontinence, and therefore surgery for dyssynergic defecation has gone out of favor.


Rao, S. "DYSSYNERGIC DEFECATION & BIOFEEDBACK THERAPY" Gastroenterology Clinics of North America 2008 37:569–586.

Rao, S. & Go, J. "Treating Pelvic Floor Disorders of Defecation: Management or Cure?" Current Gastroenterology Reports 2009 11:278-287.

Shim, L., et.al. "Predictors of outcome of anorectal biofeedback therapy in patients with constipation" Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics 2011 33: 1245-1251.

Wiesel, P., et.al. "Patient satisfaction after biofeedback for constipation and pelvic floor dyssynergia." Swiss Medical Weekly 2001 24:152-156.

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