The prevalence of urinary incontinence in nulliparous adolescent and middle-aged women and the associated risk factors: A systematic review

Urinary incontinence (UI) has been defined as the complaint of involuntary loss of urine. There is a general belief that UI is experienced almost exclusively by the elderly and women who have given birth. However, epidemiological studies report that young women who are nulliparous also experience UI. The aim of this study was to systematically review studies investigating the prevalence of UI in nulliparous adolescent and middle-aged women and to provide an overview of risk factors associated with UI. The electronic databases PubMed, EMBASE, CINAHL, and Cochrane Library were systematically searched for eligible studies. Inclusion and exclusion criteria were defined a priori. The selected studies were reviewed and data extraction was carried out by the reviewers. Two independent researchers assessed the quality of the included studies. Eighteen studies were included in this systematic review. UI prevalence estimates varied from 1% to 42.2%. Among the women with UI of any type, 12.5% to 79% had stress urinary incontinence. BMI, childhood enuresis, and high-impact exercising were found to be the main associated risk factors. Understanding the effect of the risk factors on the pelvic floor will enable us to implement preventive strategies and advise appropriately on the prevention of UI.

Maturitas. 2017 Oct 07 [Epub]

Sania Almousa, Alda Bandin van Loon

Faculty of Life Sciences and Education, University of South Wales, Pontypridd, Wales, UK. Electronic address: ., Cobián Clinic, Corunna, Spain.

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