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08-12-2013 | Gynaecology | Article

One in three premenopausal women has urinary incontinence


Free abstract

medwireNews: Urinary incontinence affects nearly one in three premenopausal women, a study by Turkish researchers has found.

The team also identified independent risk factors for the condition, which were age older than 35 years, having a low educational level, and three or more pregnancies.

The study included 690 women aged 18 to 53 years (mean age 35 years) who were assessed using the International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire Short Form.

The overall prevalence of urinary incontinence was 27.2%. Of these cases, 36.7% were classified as stress incontinence, 32.4% as urgency incontinence, and 30.9% as mixed incontinence.

Urinary leakage occurred once a week or less in 11.0% of women, two or three times a week in 4.5%, once a day in 2.8%, and several times a day or always in 9.0%. The amount of leaked urine was reported as “small” by 20.9%, “moderate” by 4.3%, and as “large” by 2.0%, with 72.8% reporting no leakage.

Interestingly, quality of life differed significantly among the three forms of incontinence, being lowest in women with urgency incontinence and highest in those with mixed incontinence.

In logistic regression analysis, three factors emerged as significant independent predictors of any form of urinary incontinence: age greater than 35 years (odds ratio [OR]=1.90), no education beyond primary school (OR=1.84), and having had three or more children (OR=1.50).

Also, having a body mass index greater than 25 kg/m2 was a risk factor for mixed urinary incontinence, although not for the other forms of the condition.

Mode of childbirth, parity, and body mass index were not associated with risk for urinary incontinence independently of other factors.

Writing in Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms, Işik Üstüner (Recep Tayyip Erdogan University School of Medicine, Rize) and fellow authors note that although urinary incontinence is a common problem, obtaining accurate prevalence data has proved to be difficult especially in premenopausal women.

The main strength of this study, they say, is the diagnosis of urinary incontinence was based on self-reported data rather than clinical and urodynamic examination.

“Since different types of [urinary incontinence] may reflect different pathologies and involve various risk factors, epidemiological research should also focus on the types of [urinary incontinence] in premenopausal women,” they conclude.

“These data are important in understanding the etiology, management and possible prevention of urinary incontinence in premenopausal women.”

medwireNews ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2013

By Joanna Lyford, Senior medwireNews Reporter

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