Bladder Control advice

Break taboos. Take control, Get treatment

Facts and Statistics

  • In 1998 the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that bladder control problems affect more than 200m people worldwide.1
  • The WHO also said that incontinence is a largely preventable and treatable condition and that it's "certainly not an inevitable consequence of ageing," adding that "the most typical reaction exhibited by patients when they are diagnosed with poor bladder control was not fear nor disbelief, but relief."2
  • The NHS estimates that between 3 and 6 million people in the UK have some degree of urinary incontinence.3
  • A study in 2005 in 6 countries shows age groups of people with Overactive Bladder (sample size 1,272).4

Age groups of people with Overactive Bladder
age-groups-of-people-with-overactive-bladder

  • Studies suggest that in the UK "major faecal incontinence" affects 1.4% of the general population over 40 years old and constipation affects between 3% and 15% of the population.5
  • In 2001 an English study about prevalence of faecal incontinence in adults over 40 years old concluded that "faecal incontinence is a common symptom in men as well in women", particularly in older people.6
  • In the UK, 24% of older people are affected by urinary incontinence. Of those older people in institutional care, 30-60% are affected by urinary incontinence, and 25% by bowel incontinence.7
  • A study in 2002 found that 32% of women in the UK, 34% in Germany, 32% in France and 15% in Spain had symptoms of urinary incontinence in the previous 30 days.8

Women with symptoms of UI
women-with-symptoms-of-ui

  • Women are more likely to suffer from stress urinary incontinence than men. That's because of the effects of childbirth and the menopause. Men, on the other hand, are more likely to have urinary retention. That's because many men develop prostate gland enlargement as they age. Women don't have a prostate gland.
  • Between 1 and 2 out of every 5 women in the UK will get cystitis at some point.9
  • Women are more likely to get interstitial cystitis than men, 90 percent according to some figures. In the USA, estimates are that 700,000 women have it.10
  • In 2002 the American-based International Federation for Gastrointestinal Disorders surveyed people who live with Irritable Bowel Syndrome and found that 25% of respondents with IBS reported loss of bowel control.11
  • In 2004 an American survey (by the National Association for Continence) reported that women wait 6.5 years and men 4.2 years after beginning to experience bladder control problems before seeing a healthcare professional.12

More facts and figures about bowel and bladder incontinence from the UK, USA and Australia

UK

USA

Internal links

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Footnote

  1. World Health Organization Calls First International Consultation on Incontinence. Press Release WHO/49, 1 July 1998. http://www.who.int/inf-pr-1998/en/pr98-49.html (Accessed 12.10.2006)
  2. World Health Organization Calls First International Consultation on Incontinence. Press Release WHO/49, 1 July 1998. http://www.who.int/inf-pr-1998/en/pr98-49.html (Accessed 12.10.2006)
  3. Source: Irwin, D., Milsom, I. et al. Impact of overactive bladder symptoms on employment, social inteactions and emotional wellbeing in six European countries. British Journal of Urology International: 2005; 97, 96-100. http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/j.1464-410X.2005.05889.x (Subscription required. Accessed 13.12.2006)
  4. Jarret, M.E.D. et al. Systematic review of sacral nerve stimulation for faecal incontinence and constipation. British Journal of Surgery 2004; 91: 1559-1569. http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-
    bin/abstract/109630867/ABSTRACT?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0
    . (Abstract available. Article accessed 21.12.2006)
  5. Perry, S. et al. Prevalence of faecal incontinence in adults aged 40 years or more living in the community. Gut 2002; 50: 480-484. http://gut.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/50/4/480. (Abstract available. Article accessed 17.01.2006)
  6. Royal College of Physicians. Inadequate and Incomplete – Continence Care in the UK. Press release 23.11.2005 http://www.rcplondon.ac.uk (Accessed 10.10.2006) (http://www.rcplondon.ac.uk/news-media/press-releases/inadequate-and-incomplete-continence-care-uk). Denis, L. et al. Continence Promotion: Prevention, Education and Organisation. Abrams, et al (eds) Third International Consultation on Incontinence 2004: Monaco; vol 1, p38.
  7. Hunskaar, S., Lose, et al. (2003) Prevalence of Stress Urinary Incontinence in Women in Four European Countries, 2002. ICS: UK. Link to PDF: http://www.icsoffice.org/publications/2002/pdf/257.pdf (Accessed 28.11.2006)
  8. Best Treatments, Clinical Evidence for Patients from the BMJ. Cystitis (Urinary tract infections, UTIs in women) How common is cystitis? http://www.besttreatments.co.uk/btuk/conditions/1000143440.html#ref1 (Accessed 10.10.2006)
  9. National Women's Health Information Center (NWHIC), Office on Women's Health, US Department of Health and Human Services. http://4women.gov/faq/intcyst.htm (Accessed 10.10.2006)
  10. International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders. IBS in the Real World. IBS Research Findings by IFFGD. August 2002. (Accessed 12.10.2006.)
  11. Denis, L. et al. Continence Promotion: Prevention, Education and Organisation. Abrams, et al (eds) Third International Consultation on Incontinence 2004: Monaco; vol 1, p43.
gfx-mature-shopper

In 1998 the WHO said that incontinence is a largely preventable and treatable condition; that it's “certainly not an inevitable consequence of ageing”

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