Urinary Incontinence: Half Of Older Women Suffer, But Not All See A Doctor

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Urinary Incontinence: Half Of Older Women Suffer, But Not All See A Doctor
Urinary Incontinence: Half Of Older Women Suffer, But Not All See A Doctor
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Urinary incontinence: half of older women suffer, but not all see a doctor

Almost half of older women suffer from urinary incontinence, but many have not talked to their doctor about it, a large survey in the United States shows.

Urinary incontinence: half of older women suffer, but not all see a doctor
Urinary incontinence: half of older women suffer, but not all see a doctor

Calypso, Henri Lehman. Photo: Wikimedia Commons /

Almost half of older women suffer from urinary incontinence, but many have not talked to their doctor about it, a large survey in the United States shows. This data was published along with other results from the National Poll on Healthy Aging.

Ors was conducted in March 2018 by the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation and the University of Michigan Medicine.

In the survey, more than 1000 women aged 50 to 80 years old answered questions about bladder control. As it turned out, 43% of women aged 50 to 60 years had problems with urinary incontinence, and by the age of 65 and older, their number increased to 51%.

However, two-thirds of them did not discuss the problem with a doctor, and only 38% said they do special Kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which help prevent involuntary urination.

"Urinary incontinence is a common disorder that may not be detected on a routine check-up, but can affect a woman's quality of life and health, and is usually treatable," explained Dr. Carolyn Swenson, a urogynecologist at the University of Michigan who was involved in development of questions and analysis of the results obtained.

Among women who said they had experienced urinary leakage, 41% cited it as a problem or serious problem. One third of them leak urine almost daily.

According to the survey, most women tried to cope with the problem through self-found ways, from using pads or special underwear to wearing dark clothes and limiting fluid intake. Nearly half of women are worried that it will get worse over time.

“This is not an inevitable part of aging and cannot be ignored,” said Carolyn Swenson.

The most common causes of urine leakage are coughing or sneezing (79%), trying to get to the bathroom on time (64%), laughing (49%) and exercising (37%).

“The last thing older women should do is avoid exercise or not be able to enjoy other activities that make life meaningful,” said survey leader Professor Preeti Malani. “We hope these results will help stimulate conversation between women and their healthcare providers so that their activity does not become limited.”

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