Stress urinary incontinence
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Stress urinary incontinence

Jeanette Haslam Senior Visiting Fellow, University of East London

Stress urinary incontinence is a condition largely affecting the female population, with one in five women over the age of 40 being affected several times every month. This can affect women’s quality of life to the extent that they reduce their social and sexual relationships. In the past, women were often made to feel that incontinence was an inevitable consequence of childbirth and ageing and, that they just had to put up with; this is no longer the case. There is now evidence to show that conservative therapy can be effective and, for those for whom it is not successful minimally invasive surgery can be as effective as the previous operation of choice; open colposuspension. The Department of Health (2000) issued guidance that there should be identification of incontinence, assessment and conservative treatment in an integrated continence service. Each primary health care team should heed this guidance.

Primary Health Care. 13, 4,43-49. doi: 10.7748/phc2003.

Published in print: 01 May 2003