Webster's dictionary defines continence as the ability to retain a bodily discharge voluntarily. The word has its origins from the Latin continere or teuere, which means to hold. The anorectum is the caudal end of the gastrointestinal tract, and is responsible for fecal continence and defecation. In humans, defecation is a viscero somatic reflex that is often preceded by several atte to preserve continence. Any attempt at managing anorectal disorders requires a clear understanding of the anatomy and the integrated physiologic mechanisms responsible for maintaining continence.
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