The Women’s Preventive Services Initiative released new and updated guidelines for annual urinary incontinence screening for women. Since urinary incontinence can affect women of all ages, it’s essential for them to take part in yearly screenings to ensure peak urinary health. How annual gynecological appointments are highly important for women to take part in, the same concept is being applied to these urinary screenings. With these annual screenings, specialists will be able to note any warning signs of the development of urinary incontinence, as well as help manage it properly.
Currently, urinary incontinence affects approximately 51% of women. While urinary incontinence impacts one’s ability to control their bladder, it also hinders them in other ways. Urinary incontinence can greatly harm one physically, functionally, and even socially. Unfortunately, plenty of negative stigma surrounds this affliction, leaving women and even men embarrassed to discuss their problem with friends, family, and professionals. Across the globe, many women are disinclined to talk to their health care providers about their urinary incontinence, leaving their problem untreated and overlooked. Without treatment, the symptoms of urinary incontinence can grow increasingly worse.
According to the South African Urogynaecology Association, there is a severe lack of studies that regard the widespread presence of urinary incontinence in South African women. It’s easy to assume that the lack of these studies are directly correlated with the fact that many women are hesitant to admit their problem. On their website, the South African Urogynaecology Association explains, “It has been suggested that the prevalence of incontinence and urinary dysfunction globally is lower in Black and Asian women than in White women. However, in the Western Cape the prevalence of daily UI in Black women was 17.2%, in Cape Coloured women 12.8%, and in White women 13.2%” (source).
The New Guidelines for Urinary Screening
The Women’s Preventive Services Initiative came together and created a new set of guidelines that promote annual screening for urinary incontinence. These screenings will help determine if a woman has urinary incontinence and examine how it affects her daily life. Currently, the guidelines to the new screening requirements are published in the journal, Annals of Internal Medicine.
With proactive treatment for urinary incontinence, doctors can help women manage their symptoms and lead an improved quality of life.