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Urinary Incontinence Common in Never-Pregnant Women

Last Updated: July 17, 2012.

Urinary incontinence is common in self-reports by young women who have never been pregnant, according to a study published in the July 17 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

TUESDAY, July 17 (HealthDay News) -- Urinary incontinence (UI) is common in self-reports by young women who have never been pregnant, according to a study published in the July 17 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Tessa O'Halloran, from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, and colleagues surveyed 1,620 young women who had never been pregnant; 1,018 (63 percent) responded and data were analyzed for 1,002 women (mean age, 22.5 years). Surveys, using the Questionnaire for Urinary Incontinence Diagnosis, the Psychological General Well-Being Index (PGWBI), the King's Health Questionnaire, and the International Physical Activity Questionnaire-Short Form, were conducted on university campuses and in health clinics.

The researchers found that the rate of any UI was 12.6 percent (95 percent confidence interval [CI], 10.5 to 14.7 percent). Students had slightly more self-reported incontinence than nonstudents (13.2 percent [95 percent CI, 11.0 to 15.8 percent] versus 10.6 percent [95 percent CI, 6.7 to 14.6 percent]). Rates of UI were highest among students who were ever sexually active and not using combined oral contraceptives (21.5 percent [95 percent CI, 16.7 to 27.3 percent]). Significantly lower overall well-being was reported by women with UI than women without UI.

"In a sample of young nulligravid women, UI was associated with ever being sexually active and no combined oral contraceptive use, as well as lower psychological well-being," the authors write.

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