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Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2002 May;77(2):139-45.

Anorectal dysfunction in women with urinary incontinence or lower urinary tract symptoms.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Chung Shan Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan.



(1) To evaluate the prevalence of anorectal dysfunction among women with urinary storage or voiding symptoms; and (2) to investigate the risk factors associated with anorectal symptoms.


A sample of 320 women who attended the urogynecology outpatient clinic for urodynamic evaluation were requested to complete a structured questionnaire. The information collected included the medical, surgical, gynecological, and obstetric histories of the patients. Anal incontinence was defined as involuntary leakage of solid or liquid feces or gas. Constipation was defined as less than three bowel movements per week. Prevalence was estimated for anal incontinence and for constipation. A chi-square test was used to compare risk factors between women with and without anal incontinence or constipation. We used a multi-variable logistic regression analysis to estimate the association between other variables.


Forty-nine (15.9%) women reported having anal incontinence according to the above definition. Of those 49 women, 11 (3.6%) experienced leakage of liquid and/or solid feces and 38 (12.3%) had flatus incontinence. Constipation was reported by 100 (31.5%) of the women. A multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that the main risk factor associated with anal incontinence and constipation was the presence of uterovaginal prolapse (odds ratio=5.02; 95% CI=2.19-11.5 for anal incontinence; odds ratio=1.78; 95% CI=1.03-3.09 for constipation).


Our results demonstrate a relatively high prevalence of anal incontinence or constipation among women suffering from urinary dysfunction. Uterovaginal prolapse is the main risk factor associated with anorectal dysfunction.

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