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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: Jul 31, 2020

Hi doctor,

My son age is 8 years old. His weight is 25 kg and height 135 cm. He has problem of passing stool in his underwear for the last 6 to 7 months. He is doing this without knowing it. He suffered with the same kind of problem last year for three months and it got cured. But, that medicine did not help this time. We discussed many doctors, but not get any solution. Please help us.

Dr. Payas Joshi

Child Health Paediatrics


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. First one is to go for thyroid profile that is T3, T4 and TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) check.
  • The second one, does the child have pain on defecation? 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 it is so, then you should also see a psychologist or psychotherapist.
  • The last is if everything fails, then you should go for an MRI spine to rule out if anything wrong there.
  • Is the child developmentally normal?

Revert back with the answers to the above questions to a paediatrician online -->

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Thank you doctor,

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

Dr. Payas Joshi

Child Health Paediatrics


Welcome back to

  • Yes, commonly 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.

For further information consult a paediatrician online -->

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