An initial discussion of the problem with your doctor will help establish the severity of the problem.
A history of past childbirth in a woman may suggest a cause. In some cases, medical illnesses and medications play a role in problems with control. A physical exam of the anal region should be performed. It may readily identify an obvious injury to the anal muscles.
Additional tests are usually required. In manometry, a fine plastic tube is placed into the anus to record strength of the muscles. A separate test of nerve function may also be conducted. An ultrasound probe is also used to look for areas of damage in the muscles. A colonoscopy is usually done to look for causes of incontinence higher up in the colon.