Photo of toilet roll


Some people with MS will never experience bowel problems, but up to 7 in 10 people with MS will get a bowel problem at some stage, either constipation or incontinence (leakage).

Bowel problems can be embarrassing and distressing. But discussing the issue and getting the right support and advice can help.

Some variation in bowel movements is normal - every second day may be your routine, or every few days, or having up to three bowel movements in a day.

Bladder and Bowel and MS

Bladder and bowel problems are common symptoms of MS. So if you are experiencing problems you are not alone. 

This video features the real experiences of people with MS, voiced by actors.

Find out about MS symptoms
Connect with people online

Join our community

Start a conversation
Questions about MS?

0808 800 8000

MS Helpline opening hours

In this section

Causes of bowel problems

We know quite a bit about how MS affects the bladder, but less about how MS affects the bowel.

Find out the causes of bowel problems

Managing constipation

Constipation is more common in MS than bowel incontinence. The two can be linked, but people who have constipation will not necessarily go on to develop a problem with incontinence, or vice versa.

Read about managing constipation

Managing bowel incontinence

Bowel incontinence in MS is often linked to constipation – stools become impacted in the bowel and there is leakage around them. There are other possible causes too.
Read about managing bowel incontinence
Pod image
My MS nurse and I agreed that it was time I took control. She explained that MS was stopping sections of my bowel from working. She suggested that I could try a bowel management system. It was a lot to get my head around, but it helped that my nurse was very matter of fact and positive about it. Lorraine, diagnosed with MS in 2000
Members of a local group smiling

Find support near you

We can't meet face-to-face right now. But there's still lots of ways to connect with people near you who understand what life's like with MS. From coffee mornings to online yoga classes. Put in your postcode to find out what's near you.

Make sure you've entered and selected a location Go