Investigation into the impact of faecal incontinence (FI) on the quality of life (QoL) has resulted in the development of scales to measure severity of the condition. However, some of these have been criticized for reflecting the perspective of health professionals, rather than that of the person experiencing FI. Qualitative studies considering the patient's experience of FI are more limited. This paper examines the patient's account, relating the level of adaptation to FI. The amount of time during which FI was experienced without respite affected adaptation and QoL. Self-confidence, family and sexual relationships, lifestyle choices, employment and finance varied according to the level of adaptation achieved, which also influenced QoL. The paper concludes that successful adaptation is reflected by an elevation in the QoL experienced.