Does passing stools in underwear without knowing a psychological issue?

Q. Is passing stools in underwear without knowledge a psychological problem?

Answered by
Dr. Payas Joshi
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Sep 03, 2016 and last reviewed on: Aug 14, 2023

Hi doctor,

My son is 8 years old. His weight is 55 lbs, and his height is 4.4 feet. He has had a problem with passing stool in his underwear for six to seven months now. He is doing this without knowing it. He suffered from the same kind of problem last year for three months, and it got cured. But, that medicine did not help this time. We discussed this with many doctors but did not get any solution. Would you please help us?



Welcome to

I saw the attached files and your child's history (attachment removed to protect patient identity). Your child has encopresis (involuntary fecal soiling), and probably he might also be having constipation. The standard treatment is dietary modification. I believe you know all as it has already been done. I have four concerns. The first one is to go for a thyroid profile check that is T3 (triiodothyronine), T4 (thyroxine), and TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) check. The second one, does the child have pain on defecation? Is the child developmentally normal? Have anyone checked the anal opening for any cracks or fissures? The third one, have you seen some behavior abnormality in your child, or is there any problem in the family? If so, you should also see a psychologist or psychotherapist.

The last is if everything fails, then you should go for an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) spine to rule out if anything is wrong there.

Kindly revert with the answers to the above questions.

Hi doctor,

He is very shy and cannot express himself to people. His urine routine is normal, but not for stool. Is there any psychological problem?



Welcome back to

Yes, it is a psychological condition. But, you also rule out other things such as constipation, as it also happens when a child is chronically constipated. If constipation improves, then this condition may also improve. Also, your child needs some psychotherapy.

Was this answer helpful?


Same symptoms doesn’t mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Related Questions:
Why do I overload my brain with so many thoughts?

.. to be thinking excessively. Probably, it is your personality makeup which makes you think so. As long as you do not get distressed, it is alright. But, if you feel that you have to change, try focussing on your career at present.   Read full

How much dosage of Sildenafil is advisable for erectile dysfunction in a diabetic?

.. can be due to many conditions including psychological and underlying like diabetes, hypertension, thyroid dysfunction, atherosclerotic disease and some medicine such as antipsychotic, some antihypertensives.   Read full

Does constipation cause burning sensation in anus?

I avoid eating spicy foods ... Another cause can be constipation, which can cause fissures around the anus ...   Read full

Also Read Answers From:

ideaComprehensive Medical Second Opinion.Submit your Case

Also Read

PCOS and Liver Problems
The hormonal imbalances in polycystic ovary syndrome could cause liver diseases. Read the article to know the relationship between these medical conditions.  Read more»
Inferior Alveolar Nerve Lateralization Technique
The inferior alveolar nerve lateralization technique is a surgical lateralization technique to reposition the nerve. Read the article to know more about this.  Read more»
COVID-19 and Ebola: Similarities and Differences
This article gives a comparison and broader overview of the outbreak of the two deadliest diseases that showed a greater incidence over the last two decades.  Read more»

Ask your health query to a doctor online?

Ask a Paediatrician Now

* guaranteed answer within 4 hours.

Disclaimer: No content published on this website is intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice or treatment by a trained physician. Seek advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with questions you may have regarding your symptoms and medical condition for a complete medical diagnosis. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this website. Read our Editorial Process to know how we create content for health articles and queries.