Prevalence of urinary incontinence among Saudi women

Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2012 May;117(2):160-3. doi: 10.1016/j.ijgo.2011.12.014. Epub 2012 Feb 20.


Objective: To estimate the prevalence of female urinary incontinence (UI) in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; to determine associated risk factors; and to identify healthcare-seeking behavior among affected women.

Methods: A cross-sectional study of women attending Ministry of Health primary healthcare centers in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, was conducted. Participants completed a questionnaire that evaluated factors associated with UI.

Results: The mean age of the 379 participants was 35 years and the median parity was 4. The overall prevalence of UI was 41.4% (95% CI, 36.6-46.5). Stress UI, urgency UI, and mixed UI were reported by 36.4% (95% CI, 31.7-41.4), 27.4% (95% CI, 23.2-32.1), and 22.2% (95% CI, 18.3-26.6), respectively. Urinary leakage was reported daily by 17.2%, and 25.5% experienced leakage more than once a week. Risk factors for UI included increased age (P<0.001); parity greater than 5 (P<0.001); menopause (P=0.004); and history of vaginal gynecologic surgery, chronic cough, or constipation (P≤0.001). Medical advice was not sought by 85.5% of women with UI. Many of the women with UI reported adverse effects on their daily activities.

Conclusion: Female UI is prevalent in Saudi Arabia; however, the majority of women with this condition did not seek medical advice.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Constipation / complications
  • Cough / complications
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Gynecologic Surgical Procedures / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Menopause
  • Middle Aged
  • Parity
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care*
  • Pregnancy
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Saudi Arabia / epidemiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Urinary Incontinence / epidemiology*
  • Young Adult