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This publication is provided for historical reference only and the information may be out of date.

Cover of Urinary Incontinence

Urinary Incontinence

The Management of Urinary Incontinence in Women

NICE Clinical Guidelines, No. 40

National Collaborating Centre for Women's and Children's Health (UK).

London: RCOG Press; 2006 Oct.
ISBN-10: 1-904752-32-2
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Urinary incontinence (UI) is a common symptom that can affect women of all ages, with a wide range of severity and nature. While rarely life-threatening, incontinence may seriously influence the physical, psychological and social wellbeing of affected individuals. The impact on the families and carers of women with UI may be profound, and the resource implications for the health considerable.

The International Continence Society (ICS) has standardised terminology in lower urinary tract function: UI is defined as ‘the complaint of any involuntary urinary leakage’. This may occur as a result of a number of abnormalities of function of the lower urinary tract, or as a result of other illnesses, and these tend to cause leakage in different situations. Definitions for stress, mixed and urge UI and overactive bladder (OAB) are given in the glossary. Other types of UI may be described by the situations that provoke urine loss, for example during sexual intercourse, or on laughing or giggling. Some patients may simply report being ‘wet all the time’. This may be a reflection of the severity of their condition, although may on occasions be due to other pathologies, for example fistula. There are currently approximately 80 cases of fistula between the urinary tract and genital tract treated each year in England and Wales and this condition is not considered further in this guideline. It is recognised that UI may be of a transient nature on occasion, reflecting acute health or environmental factors.


While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained within this publication, the publisher can give no guarantee for information about drug dosage and application thereof contained in this book. In every individual case the respective user must check current indications and accuracy by consulting other pharmaceutical literature and following the guidelines laid down by the manufacturers of specific products and the relevant authorities in the country in which they are practising.

Copyright © 2006, National Collaborating Centre for Women’s and Children’s Health.

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PMID: 21938861


NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence)

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