African Journal of Urology

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Prevalence and risk factors for urinary and anal incontinence in Tunisian middle aged women

S. Gallas, S. Frioui, H. Rabeh, M. Ben Rejeb


Objectives: To estimate the prevalence of urinary incontinence and anal incontinence in Tunisian women and to identify their risk factors.
Subjects and methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 402 female doctors and nurses randomly selected from 3 large hospitals in the center of Tunisia. The prevalence of urinary incontinence and anal incontinence were measured using validated questionnaires.
Results: Overall 45.3% of women experienced incontinence (urinary incontinence or anal incontinence). The overall prevalence of urinary incontinence, anal incontinence and double incontinence were 45%, 6.3% and 6%, respectively. Factors associated with incontinence were postpartum urinary incontinence (OR 11.91, CI 4:72–30:04, P < 0.001), menopausal status (OR 11.72, CI 3:8–36:07, P < 0.001), arterial hypertension (OR 4.17, CI 1:61–10.81, P = 0.003), nurse occupation (OR 3.22, CI 1:62–6:36, P = 0.001) and constipation (OR 1.71, CI 1:02–2:87, P = 0.041). Medical help seeking was taken only by 21% of the incontinent women.
Conclusion: Forty five percent of Tunisian women suffered from urinary or anal incontinence. A primary prevention for modifiable risk factors, such as postpartum pelvic floor physiotherapy and hypertension control, should be advised to women in order to optimize their quality of life.
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