Suffering in Silence: Urinary Incontinence among Bangladeshi Women
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icddr,b, Head of Research, 68 Shahid Tajuddin Ahmed Sharani, Mohakhali, Dhaka 1212, Bangladesh
Data for Impact, University of North Carolina, Research Associate, “Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA, Based at 68 Shahid Tajuddin Ahmed Sharani, Mohakhali, Dhaka 1212, Bangladesh”, Bangladesh
Data for Impact, University of North Carolina
Publication date: 2023-04-26
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A35
Background and Objective:
Urinary incontinence (UI), the involuntary loss of urine, is a common, distressing condition of women, affecting all ages and across different cultures. Globally, an estimated 200 million women suffer from UI, although the prevalence of UI varies across settings. Research on UI has primarily been conducted in developed countries and there is a paucity of data on UI in developing countries. The objective of this paper is to provide an estimated prevalence of UI, its sub-types and associated factors among ever-married women aged 15-49 years in Bangladesh.

This paper used data from 2016 Bangladesh Maternal Mortality and Health Care Survey, conducted in a nationally representative sample of 300,000 households. Ever-married women aged 15-49 years, residing in these households, who had ever given birth were asked a set of pre-tested questions to identify symptoms of stress and/or urge incontinence. The weighted prevalence of UI, its sub-types, and factors associated with different types of UI were identified using logistic regression. All analyses were conducted in Stata version 15.

The prevalence of any UI was 15.8% (95%CI 15.7, 16.0). The most common subtype was stress incontinence, with a prevalence of 13.7% (95%CI 13.5, 13.8), followed by urge incontinence, with a prevalence of 7.6% (95%CI 7.5, 7.8) and mixed incontinence, with a prevalence of 5.5% (95%CI 5.4, 5.6). Age, religion, parity, educational attainment, economic status and residence in certain parts of Bangladesh are the risk factors for women’s reporting of different types of UI.

The study findings are in line with findings from other South Asian country studies. The findings of this study, with its large sample size, population-based sampling and rigorous data collection process, will be useful for making effective plans to reduce the silent sufferings of Bangladeshi women from UI.