Suffering in silence: pregnant women's experience of urinary incontinence in Zaria, Nigeria
Objective: To determine the prevalence and severity of urinary incontinence during pregnancy in Zaria, Nigeria. Study Design: This was a descriptive, cross-sectional study in which 204 apparently healthy pregnant women attending routine antenatal care (ANC) at the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Teaching Hospital in Zaria, Nigeria were screened for urinary incontinence using the International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire on Urinary Incontinence (ICIQ-UI Short Form) UK English Version. Nurses working in the antenatal clinic were trained on how to help respondents (most of whom were not literate) to respond to the questions. Uni- and bivariate analysis was performed on the data using SPSS version 15 for Windows. Results: The prevalence rate of all types of urinary incontinence during pregnancy was 21.1% in the study population. Stress urinary incontinence was the most common type accounting for 60.5%. The majority of the expectant mothers (74.4%) reported leaking no more than once a week; in 90% of them the volume was small in amount. The modal ICIQ score for urinary incontinence was 3 for the study population. The majority (83.4%) of the incontinent women felt their symptom did not interfere with their daily routines. Conclusions: About one-fifth of pregnant women in this setting experienced urinary incontinence which they did not report to their primary care providers. Awareness needs to be created for antenatal clients and providers on how to recognize symptoms and manage them. The ICIQ questionnaire has simplified this process.
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