Social impact and healthcare-seeking behavior among women with urinary incontinence in the United Arab Emirates

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25 Citations (Scopus)


Objective To determine the prevalence and social impact of urinary incontinence (UI) and healthcare-seeking behaviors among women in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Methods A study was conducted of 429 women who attended family development foundation centers in Al Ain, UAE, between January 1, 2010, and January 31, 2011. Data on sociodemographics, obstetric and medical history, and factors related to UI were obtained using a questionnaire. Results The prevalence of UI was 42.2% (mean age, 37.8 years). Aspects of daily life (praying, social activities, physical activities, or sexual relationship) were disrupted by UI among 78.0% of the women, with severe effects reported by 8.8%. Independent risk factors for UI were education level, history of "dragging" genital lump, and constipation. In all, 50.5% of the affected women did not seek medical advice, stating the following reasons: hoped for spontaneous resolution of UI (61.9%); embarrassed to visit a male or female clinician (35.9%); believed that UI was a normal occurrence among women (31.5%); embarrassed to visit a male clinician (29.3%); and unaware that treatment was available (23.9%). Conclusion Although UI was prevalent in the UAE and affected quality of life, less than half of all women with this condition sought medical advice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-139
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013


  • Healthcare-seeking behavior Prevalence Quality of life Social impact Urinary incontinence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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