Incontinence Community

Urinary Incontinence is Common Also in Women Who Have Not Given Birth

Aimee Sharp
Author | Shield HealthCare
12/07/16  12:41 PM PST
Urinary Incontinence

Originally published in Science Daily

Women who have not given birth often end up under the radar for research on urinary incontinence. In a study of this group, however, one in five women over 45 years say they experience this type of incontinence.

“This confirms that problems are found in all groups, and that women have a weakness of the pelvic floor even if they have not previously given birth,” says Maria Gyhagen, gynecologist at Södra Älvsborg Hospital in Borås and researcher at Sahlgrenska Academy at Gothenburg University.

The study involved about 9,200 women aged 25-64 years who had never given birth. Their problems varied significantly with age and weight.

Increases with age

In the category young women (25-35 years) with normal weight (BMI up to 25), 10 percent said they had urinary incontinence. Among the oldest in the study (55-64 years) with a BMI over 35, almost every other woman experienced this type of incontinence.

Of all women aged 45-64 in the study, more than 20 percent reported urinary incontinence.

The prevalence of mixed incontinence increases with age. This is a combination of leakage during exercise and urge incontinence. Seventeen percent of women over 55 said they had to get up and urinate at least twice per night. For those who reported incontinence, 25-30 percent experienced their incontinence as bothersome.

“The original purpose of the study was to measure the effects of pregnancy in itself and the potential protective effect of caesarean section. At the same time, we have collected the world’s first and most detailed data for this particular reference group,” says Maria.

Particularly vulnerable

Women who have not given birth are, in general, less likely to suffer from urinary incontinence compared to women after childbirth. Maria Gyhagen thinks that this group is of special interest also because most of the younger women will become pregnant and give birth.

Read the Full Article at Science Daily



  1. Denise
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 11:26 pm PST

    This is a serious problem. Urinary incontinence greatly restricts the life of anyone who suffers from it. Just ask me, I know. It is depressing and life-altering. My condition has been getting worse for many years now – I’m 63 and also one who never gave birth. I never dreamed to be affected to this degree. It leads to loss of independence, tying one to close (very close) proximity to a toilet. I am not able to shop in town where there is no restroom available to customers (and many stores now have a no public restroom policy). I dashed out of a store today and rushed/drove home rather than try making it safely to a bathroom. Even tho I needed to change clothes when I got home at least I didn’t have the embarrasment in public. I cannot even be outside in the yard without the constant nuisance of going back inside almost every 15 minutes. Try getting anything done – forget it. Bladder training and bladder exercises don’t work. Nothing works. Try getting a good night’s sleep. NOT tonight dear! This problem is not receiving enough attention – research needs to be done. I’m willing to help collect data for the research.

  2. Crystal D.
    Posted November 13, 2018 at 5:19 am PST

    I did not give birth to kids but I’ve been in a couple of car accidents that damage my lower back. It cause bladder issues for me. I had primary dr & urinary Dr try to help but when I told my O B/GYN she put me on medicine that works well but night I back up it with a brief. I’m just happy my bed dry in the morning.

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