Epidemiological Aspects of the Female Urinary Incontinence

Authors: R. Chmel ;  M. Nováčková ;  R. Vlk ;  L. Horčička
Authors‘ workplace: Gynekologicko-porodnická klinika 2. LF UK a FNM, Praha
Published in: Čas. Lék. čes. 2005; 144: 95-97
Category: Review Article


Urinary incontinence is defined as an involuntary loss of urine, which makes social and hygienic problem. It is a symptom with different causes. According to the typical clinical manifestation it is classified as stress, urge, reflex and paradox urinary incontinence. Loss of small amount of urine related to the increase of intraabdominal pressure (during coughing, sneezing or running) is characteristic for stress urinary incontinence. Sudden and uncontrollable voiding with loss of greater amount of urine is typical for urge incontinence. Reflex incontinence means that urinary bladder is emptying without voiding. Paradox incontinence is caused by an acquired smooth muscle weakness of the bladder and it manifests with incomplete emptying and with growing residual urine. Prevalence of urinary incontinence increases with age. Significant increase of female urinary incontinence symptoms is found in fifth and sixth decade. Urinary incontinence in young women is more a dynamic than a permanent symptom but the postmenopausal incontinence obviously does not disappear spontaneously. Urge and mixed incontinence are less frequent than stress symptomatology (between 10 and 15 %). According to the prevalence studies only 1,5 to 6 % of incontinent women are looking for a medical help. Because the urge symptoms are more limiting, the patients with urge incontinence are searching treatment possibilities more often than those with stress incontinence. 

Key words:
urinary incontinence, types of incontinence, epidemiology, prevalence, quality of life.

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