The term “anorectal” refers to the anal canal and rectum. The anal and rectal area contains specialised muscles that help regulate proper passage of bowel movements.The physiology tests assess the strength of your pelvic muscles, sphincter and nerves. They provide helpful information to the doctor in treating patients with faecal incontinence or severe constipation. 

Weak anal sphincter muscles or poor sensation in the rectum can contribute to faecal incontinence. If these abnormalities are present, they can be treated. Biofeedback techniques using anal manometry and special exercises of the pelvic floor muscles can strengthen the muscles and improve sensation. This can help treat faecal incontinence. There are also many causes of constipation. In some patients with constipation, the anal sphincter muscles do not relax appropriately when bearing down or pushing to have a bowel movement. This abnormal muscle function may cause a functional type of obstruction. Muscles that do not relax when bearing down can be retrained with biofeedback techniques using anorectal manometry.

The tests do not require any sedation so you can drive yourself to and from the appointment.  

Anorectal physiology tests are safe, low risk procedures and are unlikely to cause any pain.  Please inform the doctor if you experience any discomfort or pain or wish to pause for a while during the tests. If you are allergic to latex, you should inform the doctor before the test so that a latex free balloon can be used.