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What happens during a pudendal nerve terminal motor latency test?

Anthony L. Komaroff, MD
Internal Medicine
If you have fecal incontinence (unintended passage of stool), a pudendal nerve terminal motor latency helps assess whether your nerves are properly able to control the action of your anal sphincters. For a pudendal nerve study, the clinician does a digital rectal exam with a small electrode attached. The doctor delivers a mild electrical current to the pudendal nerve, and measures the amount of time it takes for the sphincter to contract in response to the current.

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