Prevalence and risk factors for urinary incontinence in pregnant women during late third trimester

Aruna Nigam, Ayesha Ahmad, Diksha Gaur, Arifa A. Elahi, Swaraj Batra


Background: Urinary incontinence (UI) is defined as any involuntary urinary leakage by the International continence society (ICS). The objective of this study was to analyze the prevalence and risk factors of urinary incontinence in pregnant women in late third trimester.

Methods: A questionnaire based survey done on 400 pregnant women in third trimester beyond 34 weeks of gestation. A pretested, semi structured questionnaire was used to enquire about demographic and personal information regarding age, parity, education, occupation, type of delivery, weight, height, smoking, constipation and coffee consumption, regular physical activities, family history of UI, history of UI pre-pregnancy and during the previous pregnancy. Detailed history was taken regarding urgency, urge urinary incontinence (UUI), nocturia, bed wetting, dysuria, stress urinary incontinence (SUI) and sensation of incomplete emptying.

Results: Prevalence of urinary incontinence was found to be 75.25%. Majority (72.7%) of the women complained of stress urinary continence. History of urinary tract infection was present in 35.75 % of women during pregnancy. 81.25% complained of increased frequency and 89% complained of nocturia. Significant association was found between the urinary incontinence and pregnancy (p=0), multiparity (p=.007) and smoking (p=0).

Conclusions: High prevalence of UI among apparently healthy women. Major risk factors were urinary tract infection, sedentary lifestyle, constipation, multiparity and smoking.


Incontinence, Pregnancy, Urgency, Nocturia, Dysuria

Full Text:



Abrams P, Cardozo L, Fall M, Griffiths D, Rosier P, Ulmsten U, et al. The standardisation of terminology of lower urinary tract function: report from the standardisation sub-committee of the International continence society. Neurourol Urodyn. 2002;21:167-78.

Irwin DE, Milsom I, Hunskaar S, Reilly K, Kopp Z, Herschorn S, et al. Population-based survey of urinary incontinence, overactive bladder, and other lower urinary tract symptoms in five countries: results of the EPIC study. Eur Urol. 2006;50:1306-14.

Wesnes SL, Rortveit G, Bø K, Hunskaar S. Urinary incontinence during pregnancy. Obstet Gynecol. 2007;109:922-8.

Thompson J, Roberts CL, Currie M, Ellwood DAD. Prevalence and persistence of health problems after childbirth: associations with parity and method of birth. Birth. 2002;29:83-94

van de Pol GG, Van Brummen HJ, Bruinse HW, Heintz AP, van der Vaart CH. Is there an association between depressive and urinary symptoms during and after pregnancy? Int Urogynecol J Pelvic Floor Dysfunct. 2007;18:1409-15.

Slack M. What’s not talked about in women’s health. The RCOG consumers' forum public lecture on incontinence and prolapse; 2011. Accessed 18 November 2015.

Avery K, Donovan J, Abrams P. Validation of a new questionnaire for incontinence: the International consultation on incontinence questionnaire (ICI-Q). Neurourology and Urodynamics. 2001;20:510-2.

Naing L, Winn T, Rusli BN. Practical issues in calculating the sample size for prevalence studies. Archieves of orofacial sciences. 2006;1:9-14.

Haylen BT, de Ridder D, Freeman RM, Swift SE, Berghmans B, Lee J, et al. An International urogynecological association (IUGA)/International continence society (ICS) joint report on the terminology for female pelvic floor dysfunction. Int Urogynecol J. 2010;21:5-26.

Schytt E, Lindmark G, Waldenstrom U. Symptoms of stress incontinence 1 year after childbirth: prevalence and predictors in a national Swedish sample. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2004;83:928-36.

Mac Lennan AH, Taylor AW, Wilson DH, Wilson D. The prevalence of pelvic floor disorders and their relationship to gender, age, parity and mode of delivery. BJOG. 2000;107:1460-70.

Adaji SE, Shittu OS, Bature SB, Nasir S, Olatunji O. Bothersome lower urinary symptoms during pregnancy: a preliminary study using the International consultation on incontinence questionnaire. Afr Health Sci. 2011;11(1):46-52.

Cutner A, Cardozo LD, Benness CJ. Assessment of urinary symptoms in early pregnancy. Br J Obstet Gynaecol. 1991;98:1283-6.

Scarpa KP, Hermann V, Palma PC, Ricetto CL, Morais S. Prevalence of urinary symptoms in the third trimester of pregnancy. Revista da Associacao Medica Brasileira. 2006;3:153-6.

Chaliha C, Stanton S. Urological problems in pregnancy. BJU Int. 2001;89:469-76.

Sangsawang B, Sangsawang N. Stress urinary incontinence in pregnant women: a review of prevalence, pathophysiology and treatment. Int Urogynecol J. 2013;24:901-12.

Mason L, Glenn S, Walton I, Appletion C. The prevalence of stress incontinence during pregnancy and following delivery. Midwifery. 1999;15:120-8.

Diez-Itza I, Ibañez L, Arrue M, Paredes J, Murgiondo A, Sarasqueta C. Influence of maternal weight on the new onset of stress urinary incontinence in pregnant women. Int Urogynecol J Pelvic Floor Dysfunct. 2009;20:1259-63.

Whitford HM, Alder B, Jones M. A cross-sectional study of knowledge and practice of pelvic floor exercises during pregnancy and associated symptoms of stress urinary incontinence in North-East Scotland. Midwifery. 2007;23:204-17.

Huebner M, Antolic A, Tunn R. The impact of pregnancy and vaginal delivery on urinary incontinence. Int J Gynecol Obstet. 2010;110:249-51.

Kocaoz S, Talas MS, Atabekoglu CS. Urinary incontinence in pregnant women and their quality of life. J Clin Nurs. 2010;19:3314-23.

Sangsawang B. Risk factors for the development of stress urinary incontinence during pregnancy in primigravidae: a review of the literature. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2014;178:27-34.