Should we actively screen for urinary and anal incontinence in the general gynaecology outpatients setting?--A prospective observational study

J Obstet Gynaecol. 2006 Jul;26(5):442-4. doi: 10.1080/01443610600747272.


The Department of Health in the UK recommends as good practice in continence services that opportunistic screening for urinary and anal incontinence is carried out by all healthcare professionals. The aim of this study was to record the prevalence of urinary and anal incontinence in a general gynaecology clinic. In addition, to ascertain the proportion of women with incontinence who wish further help and assess the current opportunistic screening for incontinence. Overall, the prevalence of urinary incontinence is 26.8% and the prevalence of mixed (urinary and anal) incontinence is 8.4% of women attending a general gynaecology clinic. The prevalence of both types of incontinence increases with the age of the women. Although a significant proportion wished to receive help, 61.6% of women with urinary incontinence were not specifically asked about urinary incontinence and 66.6% of women with anal or mixed incontinence were not specifically asked about anal incontinence. Our current screening for incontinence is unsatisfactory.

MeSH terms

  • Fecal Incontinence / diagnosis*
  • Fecal Incontinence / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Gynecology
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Urinary Incontinence / diagnosis*
  • Urinary Incontinence / epidemiology