Urinary incontinence (UI) is a common complaint for post-partum women. Reported prevalence and incidence figures show a large range due to varying study methodology. The crude prevalence of post-partum UI may differ when accounting for bother. Precise prevalence and incidence figures on (bothersome) UI are of relevance for health care providers, research planning, and policy makers. Therefore, we conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to investigate the prevalence and incidence of UI in post-partum women in the Western world for relevant subgroups and assessed experienced bother in relation to UI.
Observational studies, published between January 1998 and March 2020 and reporting on prevalence and incidence between 6 weeks and 1 year post-partum, were included, regardless of type of UI or setting. We used a random effects model with subgroup analyses for post-partum period, parity and subtype of UI.
The mean (weighted) prevalence based on 24 included studies, containing a total of 35.064 women, was 31.0%. After an initial drop in prevalence at 3 months post-partum, prevalence rises up to nearly the same level as in the third trimester of pregnancy at 1 year post-partum (32%). Stress UI (54%) is the most prevalent type. UI prevalence is equal among primi- and multiparous women. Experienced bother of UI is heterogeneously assessed and reported to be mild to moderate.
Post-partum UI is highly prevalent in women in the Western world. After an initial drop it rises again at 1 year post-partum. Experienced bother is mild to moderate.
International urogynecology journal. 2021 Jun 17 [Epub ahead of print]
Heidi F A Moossdorff-Steinhauser, Bary C M Berghmans, Marc E A Spaanderman, Esther M J Bols
Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Department of Epidemiology, Care and Public Health Research Institute (CAPHRI), Maastricht University, P.O. Box 616, 6200, MD, Maastricht, The Netherlands. ., Pelvic care Center Maastricht, CAPHRI, Maastricht University Medical Centre (MUMC+), Maastricht, The Netherlands., Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, MUMC+, Maastricht, The Netherlands., Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Department of Epidemiology, Care and Public Health Research Institute (CAPHRI), Maastricht University, P.O. Box 616, 6200, MD, Maastricht, The Netherlands.