Urinary incontinence in gynaecological consultations. Do all women with symptoms wish to be treated?

OBJECTIVE - To determine the prevalence and symptom severity of urinary incontinence (UI) in women who attend primary care gynaecological consultations, as well as the proportion of women with UI symptoms who wish to be studied and treated.

METHODS - A multicentre, observational, descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted of women who visit the 8 specialised consultations for sexual and reproductive health (SRH) in the 4 Catalan provinces for any reason (except UI, pregnancy and postpartum). We employed the ICQ-UI-SF questionnaire to detect UI symptoms. Women with UI symptoms (ICI-Q-SF>0) were asked whether they wanted specific care for their UI problem. Those who answered "no" were asked why.

RESULTS - The study included 2840 women, 41.8% of whom reported urine losses, especially mild to moderate symptoms. Some 53.62% of the women with UI responded that they did not wish to be treated. Of these, 75% had mild symptoms, 45% had moderate symptoms, and only 16% and 5% had severe or very severe symptoms, respectively. Fifty-three percent of the women did not want treatment because the UI was not a significant problem for them.

CONCLUSIONS - Almost half of the women who attended a specialised consultation for SRH for any reason reported UI symptoms, especially mild and moderate. More than half of the patients with UI symptoms did not want to start a diagnostic and treatment process for their problem. Symptom severity is associated with the willingness to be treated.

Actas Urol Esp. 2015 Jul 29. pii: S0210-4806(15)00178-3. doi: 10.1016/j.acuro.2015.06.004. [Epub ahead of print]

[Article in English, Spanish]
Ros C1, Espuña-Pons M2, Ortega JA2, Aliaga F2; A Pérez-González y GRESP (Grup de Recerca Sòl Pelvià).

1 Unidad de Uroginecología, Servicio de Ginecología, Hospital Clínic, Barcelona, España.
2 Unidad de Uroginecología, Servicio de Ginecología, Hospital Clínic, Barcelona, España.