URINARY INCONTINENCE : WOMEN CONTINUE TO SUFFER IN SILENCE
Urinary incontinence (UI) is defined as involuntary urine leakage, leading to social and/or hygienic problems. UI presents in the early and late perimenopause – the transitional period before the permanent loss of the menstrual cycle. About 45% of mid-life women report UI occurring at least a few times per month whereas about 15% report UI almost daily. UI dramatically affects women’s physical, psychological and social wellbeing and reduces their overall quality of life. Only 25% to 60% of symptomatic women seek help for their UI. ( El Azab 2010, Van Bargen 2022) .
While UI is endured in silence and alone affecting women’s daily activities and their social roles, Cultural and religious backgrounds and personal reluctance result in delays in seeking UI treatment. Poor knowledge and the vague nature of the symptoms mask the fact that UI is a disease. Experiences provoked by UI and the sense of shame regarding the condition impair women’s lives. UI has negative effects on women’s intimacy and sexual satisfaction subjects that women are often reluctant to discuss with their healthcare provider. Some women consider incontinence as a consequence of pregnancy and childbirth or a natural consequence of aging. However, even if women do present to their healthcare providers, women have personal preferences toward care providers and treatments and often confront difficulties through UI treatment where some of their care needs are not met. (SWAN 2015)
El-Azab and Shaaban: Measuring the barriers against seeking consultation for urinary incontinence among Middle Eastern women. BMC Women’s Health 2010 10:3. doi:10.1186/1472-6874-10-3. https://bmcwomenshealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1472-6874-10-3
Waetien EL, Xing G, Johnson WO, Melnikow J, Gold EB for the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN). Factors Associated with Seeking Treatment for Urinary Incontinence During the Menopausal Transition. Obstet Gynecol. 2015 May; 125(5): 1071–1079. doi:10.1097/AOG.0000000000000808 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4346306/
Von Bargen, WH, Urinary Incontinence.Finding a voice to talk about it? Menopause: The Journal of The North American Menopause Society 2017;25(1): DOI: 10.1097/GME.0000000000001032
[RK1]Same as above in case the links don’t work