Urinary incontinence still taboo
Incontinence is a treatable condition yet only a third of the people with UI seek help from a health professional. 35% of this group expects UI will cure by itself. Another 27% is uncomfortable talking about it with a professional. More women than men feel uncomfortable talking about it.
One of the reasons for this taboo may be the misconception that surrounds the incidence of UI. UI is a very common condition, but only 8% of the respondents indicated the right incidence rate. Experiences differ amongst the participating countries and between men and women. In France, for instance, 52% of the respondents claimed to have never experienced UI: 64% of the French men said so, in comparison to only 46% of the women. Interestingly, 27% of the 18-24-year-old respondents in the UK experience some loss of urine either once a week or more often. Yet 28% of the Brits in this age category don't know what UI is.
Although most of the respondents think that UI can be treated depending on the cause, a quarter stills feels that you have to accept it or is unaware of any treatment. The highest number of unawareness of treatment is in the UK, with 47% not knowing about treatment possibilities. In Italy, 46% of the respondents said they are not seeing a specialist as they expect UI to improve by itself, followed by the Netherlands (38%), the UK (35%), Germany (33%), and France (32%).
The truth is that in most cases UI can be treated or cured with various treatment options. Prof. Christopher Chapple, Secretary General of the EAU, explains: "Many people suffer from incontinence and recent studies confirm that it is increasingly affecting the quality of life. Luckily, there are different possibilities ranging from pads to surgery. There's absolutely no need for shame. So don't take it for granted. Talk about it with a professional and see what the best solution for you is."
Commissioned by the EAU for Urology Week (20-24 September 2021). Over 3,000 members of the public from UK, France, Germany, Italy, &the Netherlands were asked about their experience with urinary incontinence. Conducted by Emotive and supported by an educational grant from Medtronic. 3,029 respondents per country: • Germany: 610 • France: 609 • Italy: 606 • The Netherlands:
European Association of Urology