Purpose: The objective of this study was to assess toileting behaviors in community dwelling women.
Materials and methods: Women 18 years old or older were recruited through a national registry of research volunteers. They were asked to complete validated questionnaires assessing urinary symptoms and toileting behaviors, specifically place preference for voiding, convenience voiding, delayed voiding, straining during voiding and position preference for voiding. The PPBC (patient perception of bladder condition) was administered to assess the participant impression of bladder health. Analyses were done to determine the prevalence of each toileting behavior reported to occur sometimes or more often as well as differences in toileting behaviors in women with vs without self-perceived bladder problems based on the PPBC response.
Results: The 6,695 women who completed the questionnaires were 18 to 89 years old (mean ± SD age 41.4 ± 15). Of the women 79.9% identified as white and 71.0% were college educated. Of the women 6,613 (98.8%) reported a place preference for voiding. The 3,552 women (53.1%) who reported a bladder problem were more likely to report convenience voiding, delayed voiding and strained voiding behaviors. While 6,657 women (99.4%) reported sitting to void at home only 5,108 (76.2%) reported sitting when using public toilets.
Conclusions: Certain toileting behaviors, of which some may be considered unhealthy, were common in this sample of women and most were associated with a perception of bladder problems. Voiding positions other than sitting were frequently used when away from home. These data have important implications for defining bladder health and implementing behavior based interventions for women with lower urinary tract symptoms.