With nearly half of post-menopausal women believed to be suffering from stress urinary incontinence (SUI), this pelvic floor disorder has become a primary health concern among women especially those in the advancing years. A recent study which was published in the March edition of Obstetrics & Gynecology has reported that incontinence is not an inevitable part of ageing and that older women do not have to go through with this life-altering condition, although it may be true that incidence is very high among older women.
Jean Lawrence of Kaiser Permanente Southern California and her team of researchers conducted a study involving 4,103 women between the ages of 25 to 84 years. These women were asked to complete a survey dealing with relevant information regarding the different pelvic floor disorders.
It was shown that stress urinary incontinence (SUI) was present in 28 percent of the women, anal incontinence in 25 percent, and pelvic organ prolapse (POP) in six percent, based on evaluation of the results. Among the different types of urinary incontinence, stress urinary incontinence (SUI) was found to be the most prevalent. With over 18.3 million women in 2010 suffering from this type of incontinence, this finding is consistent with official health records.
Majority of these women were also found to suffer from more than one form of pelvic floor disorder. Of the women diagnosed with SUI, 80 percent were reported to experience symptoms of other types of PFDs. Around 69 percent of those who with pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and 48 percent with anal incontinence also reported having other forms of PFD.
It was concluded that age was not a significant factor as compared to other risk factors which included those that may be considered as modifiable, even if it may be true that pelvic floor disorders seem to be very common among older women. Associated with SUI were risk factors such as pregnancy, childbirth through vaginal delivery, obesity, hysterectomy, and smoking.
Fully aware of these modifiable risk factors, healthcare providers have been encouraging women to make behavioral and lifestyle changes to effectively manage these pelvic floor disorders or to prevent the occurrence of these conditions. Observing the proper diet, engaging in exercises, quitting smoking, and maintaining the ideal weight are some of these measures.
Following these suggestions may greatly benefit the thousands of women who may develop these disorders or those already suffering from these disruptive conditions. The risk of having to undergo surgical procedures such as vaginal mesh surgeries to treat these disorders may even be eliminated.
Severe complications have been reported to be experienced by thousands of women as a result of these mesh implants. These have led to legal actions such as filing of vaginal mesh lawsuits against mesh manufacturers. Countless lawsuits have already been filed by claimants in different courts with others requesting consolidation such as plaintiffs in the Neomedic mesh lawsuits.