Association of postpartum depressive symptoms and urinary incontinence. A cohort study

Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2016 Mar;198:62-67. doi: 10.1016/j.ejogrb.2015.12.028. Epub 2016 Jan 8.


Objective: Our objective was to clarify whether de novo urinary incontinence (UI) in the postpartum period is associated with depressive symptoms or antidepressant drug consumption.

Study design: 2002 pregnant women were recruited between 2003 and 2006 for the EDEN mother-child cohort. This analysis included 1413 women who reported no UI before pregnancy. Severity of UI was assessed by the Sandvik index. At 4 and 12 months postpartum, depressive symptoms were assessed by the Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale (EPDS≥10 defines depressive symptoms) and consumption of antidepressant drugs was reported.

Results: At 4 months postpartum, 198 women (14%) reported de novo UI; 74% (n=146) reported mild UI, 26% (n=52) moderate, and none severe; prevalence of depressive symptoms was higher in women with than without UI (22.1% vs. 15.9%, p=0.045), and consumption of antidepressant drugs was more frequent (4.7% vs. 1.4%, p=0.005). At 12 months postpartum, the mean (±SD) EPDS score differed between women with than without UI (7.30±3.46 vs. 6.57±3.72, p=0.016) but was half that at 4 months postpartum. The incidence of new cases of depressive symptoms or antidepressant consumption at 12 months was greater with than without UI (23.8% vs. 15.3%, p=0.012).

Conclusions: Although UI is mild in most cases at 4 months postpartum, it is followed by more new cases of depressive symptoms or antidepressant consumption at 12 months.

Keywords: Antidepressant consumption; Cohort study; Postnatal depression; Postpartum care; Urinary incontinence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Comorbidity
  • Depression, Postpartum / drug therapy
  • Depression, Postpartum / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Pregnancy
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Urinary Incontinence / epidemiology*
  • Young Adult


  • Antidepressive Agents