Aims: To investigate the impact of the first pregnancy and delivery on the prevalence and types of urinary incontinence during pregnancy and 1 year after delivery.
Methods: The study was a prospective cohort study with a control group. Primiparous women, who delivered in our department from June 2003 to July 2005, participated. The women filled out a questionnaire 2-3 days after the delivery and a new questionnaire after 1 year. The questionnaires comprised basic characteristics and symptoms of urinary incontinence. An attempted age-matched control group of nulliparous women was included, and filled out similar questionnaires. Prevalences and types of urinary incontinence, and a combined severity- and bother-score (ICIQ-SF score) among the incontinent women, were calculated and compared.
Results: The two groups differed significantly in age and most basic characteristics. During pregnancy, the prevalence of any type of urinary incontinence in the primiparous group was 32.1%, compared to 13.8% in the control group. Adjusted OR = 3.3 (95%CI = 2.4-4.4). One year after delivery, the prevalence in the primiparous group was 29.3%, compared to 16.6% in the control group. Adjusted OR = 2.5 (95%CI = 1.8-3.5). ICIQ-SF mean scores among the incontinent women varied insignificantly between 5.8 and 6.2.
Conclusions: The prevalence of urinary incontinence during pregnancy was 3.3 times higher compared with a control group of nulliparous women. After 1 year, the difference was reduced, but still 2.5 times higher in the primiparous group. The symptoms and impact on quality of life seemed to be mild to moderate in both groups.
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