African Health Sciences

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Bothersome lower urinary symptoms during pregnancy: a preliminary study using the International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire

SE Adaji, OS Shittu, SB Bature, S Nasir, O Olatunji


Background: During pregnancy, many women suffer from lower urinary tract symptoms which they hardly report to their care providers. Measuring the prevalence of these symptoms has been difficult because of lack of uniform nomenclature and standardized tool. The updated nomenclature and the new ICIQ-FLUTS questionnaire offer an opportunity for assessment of these symptoms especially in developing countries. Objective: This study aimed to establish the prevalence of bothersome lower urinary symptoms among pregnant women in Zaria, Nigeria. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study in which the International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire on Female Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms (ICIQ-FLUTS) was administered by trained interviewers to 204 consenting pregnant women aged 15 to 42 years who were attending Antenatal care (ANC) at a tertiary health facility in Zaria, Nigeria. Results: Storage phase symptoms (nocturia, urgency, daytime frequency and painful bladder) were common among respondents. Of these, nocturia was the commonest with 94.1% of the respondents reporting it. Voiding symptoms (hesitancy, straining to pass urine and interrupted stream) were also found. Interrupted stream was the commonest of these, occurring in 8.3% of respondents. Incontinence; stress (13.7%), urge (9.8%) and enuresis (1%) were found among the respondents. Conclusions: These findings show that diverse, bothersome forms of lower urinary tract symptoms are experienced by pregnant women in this environment and the ICIQ-FLUTS questionnaire is a helpful tool in identifying these symptoms.

Key Words: Lower urinary tract symptoms, Pregnancy, ICIQ-FLUTS Questionnaire, Zaria, Nigeria
AJOL African Journals Online