What is a Fecal Transplant and How Does It Work?

June 7, 2023

What is a Fecal Transplant and How Does It Work?

Fecal Microbiota Transplants (FMT), otherwise known as poop transplants, are currently at the forefront of modern medicine. They are used to treat imbalances in the microbiome – a hugely impactful part of human health that, until recent years, has been largely ignored and unexplored. They might, however, be the key to curing many chronic illnesses.

So what does poop have to do with health and the microbiome? We outline what you need to know about FMT in the following sections:

  • What is a fecal transplant (FMT)?
  • How does a fecal transplant work?
  • Five alternative names for FMT
  • Resources to learn more about fecal transplants

What is a fecal transplant (FMT)?

A fecal microbiota transplant (FMT) is a procedure involving the insertion of stool from a healthy donor into the gut of an unwell patient. Stool contains many of the diverse bacteria of the gut microbiome, so along with the stool, millions of healthy bacteria are transplanted into the patient.

The microbiome is the whole of all the bacteria, fungi, viruses and protozoa that live in your body. Fecal transplants are performed on those who have dysbiosis of the gut microbiome. FMT is used to replenish the bacteria of those who need to improve microbiome health.

How does a fecal transplant work?

Fecal transplants work by taking stool filled with good and diverse bacteria from a healthy donor and implanting that stool into the gut of someone with a lack of healthy gut microbes. The idea is that good bacteria from the donor will engraft into the gut and influence a more balanced microbiome.

FMT is currently performed in one of three ways. The more traditional method of FMT application is through colonoscopy or enema. Nasoenteric tube (a tube inserted through the nose and fed into the gut) is also a common method. Lastly, FMT capsules or “crapsules” are available, though they are a relatively new FMT treatment option.

Scientific study is now pointing to the microbiome as a factor in many chronic and misunderstood diseases. The idea behind FMT is to treat the symptoms of the illness via promoting microbiome health.

Five alternative names for FMT

When referring to “FMT,” doctors are merely shortening the full form of “Fecal Microbiota Transplant.”

This and “FMT” are the most common ways it’s mentioned. Here are some other ways fecal transplants are referred to in the medical and academic community:

  • Fecal matter transplant
  • Fecal transplant
  • Stool transplant
  • Poop transplant
  • Bacteriotherapy
  • Microbiome transplant
  • Bacteria Therapy
  • Human Probiotic Infusions
  • Fecal transfer
  • Fecal insertion

Resources to learn more about fecal transplants

If you are interested in learning more about what FMT is, and its potential, check out some of these online resources.

FMT Treatments and Therapies

Learn about how fecal transplants are being used to treat a whole host of conditions from Crohn’s to Autism. Find out what the latest studies are saying and what the future holds for FMT.

Fecal Transplant Resources Guide: 40+ Articles, Podcasts, and Sites

Learn more about all of the resources available to help you learn more about fecal transplants, including current clinical studies, the best doctors, where to get FMT news, and more.

The Exciting Future of Fecal Microbiota Transplant

Clinical trials are underway on a variety of uses for FMT and a variety of delivery methods. Read about what is to come in the world of fecal transplants.