Assessment and management of urinary incontinence in women
Intended for healthcare professionals

Assessment and management of urinary incontinence in women

Ellie Stewart CNS Urogynaecology, Guy’s Hospital, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, London, England

Why you should read this article:
  • » To update your knowledge of the types of urinary incontinence affecting women, potential effects of symptoms on patients’ quality of life, and treatment options

  • » To ensure continence care is holistic and considers the needs of the patient

  • » To count towards revalidation as part of your 35 hours of CPD, or you may wish to write a reflective account (UK readers)

  • » To contribute towards your professional development and local registration renewal requirements (non-UK readers)

Urinary incontinence is a common and usually hidden issue that can affect women of all ages. It is often ignored by the patient because of their misconception that incontinence is an inevitable consequence of ageing and their low expectations of successful treatment. There are various types of incontinence, with symptoms that can significantly affect patients’ quality of life. This article aims to enhance nurses’ understanding of the types of urinary incontinence affecting women, associated risk factors and continence assessment, as well as the initial investigations and conservative treatments that can be instigated by general nurses. It also discusses some of the advanced treatments offered by specialist services. The article emphasises the importance of undertaking a holistic continence assessment to ensure appropriate continence care is provided, and how tailoring this care to the individual can improve adherence to treatment plans.

Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2018.e11148


Stewart E (2018) Assessment and management of urinary incontinence in women. Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2018.e11148

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software


Conflict of interest

None declared

Published online: 20 April 2018

Want to read more?

Already subscribed? Log in


Unlock full access to RCNi Plus today

Save over 50% on your first 3 months

Your subscription package includes:
  • Unlimited online access to all 10 RCNi Journals and their archives
  • Customisable dashboard featuring 200+ topics
  • RCNi Learning featuring 180+ RCN accredited learning modules
  • RCNi Portfolio to build evidence for revalidation
  • Personalised newsletters tailored to your interests
RCN student member? Try Nursing Standard Student

Alternatively, you can purchase access to this article for the next seven days. Buy now