`

External Sphincter Muscle


ESM.gif

 

Part of the muscle around the anal canal that is involved with continence (i.e. the ability to hold on to stools until a socially acceptable time). It is sometimes damaged during childbirth and this damage is one of the causes of incontinence. The external anal sphincter is important in providing an extra boost of muscle power when a person coughs or lifts something heavy to ensure that the anal canal stays closed.