There are many causes of incontinence.
Injury during childbirth is one of the most common causes. These injuries may cause damage to the anal muscles and loss of muscle strength. The nerves supplying the anal muscles may also be injured. While some injuries may be recognised immediately following childbirth, many others may go unnoticed and not become a problem until later in life. In these situations, past childbirth may not be recognised as the cause of incontinence.
Operations, infections or trauma to the anal region similarly can cause damage and result in loss of bowel control. In addition, muscle strength may also decrease with aging. As a result, a minor problem in a younger person may become more serious later in life.
Diarrhoea may be associated with loss of control due to liquid stools. Other conditions such as inflammation of the colon (colitis), tumour or rectal prolapse may also cause incontinence. Do consult your doctor if you have loss of bowel control.