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You don't have to birth children to have incontinence!

In an article shared on the MONASH University website, the incidence of urinary leakage in young women is discussed. This study concludes that up to 1 out of every 8 healthy women who have not carried or birthed children have urinary incontinence. 1000 healthy, young women (age 16-30) in Melbourne, Australia were surveyed regarding continence status. The results not only concluded that as many as 12.6% of the 1000 women experienced urinary incontinence (UI), it also suggests that UI significantly affects quality of life for these women.

Most studies correlate UI with childbirth history, therefore this study is unique in its look at such a large population of young women who do not have pregnancy and childbirth as a risk factor. Researchers found that 6.2% of the women reported stress urinary incontinence, 4.5% reported urge incontinence, and 1.9% of the women reported experiencing both stress and urge leakage. Women were more likely to experience UI if they reported bedwetting history beyond the age of 5.

This research is being presented this weekend at the 15th Australasian Menopause Society Congress. This study brings to light the importance of sharing these statistics with younger populations of people and with the healthcare providers who reach these young women. It may also be helpful to reach out to your local coaches, coaching educators, associations, or high school and college athletic trainers, college athletic directors, school nurses, high school health education teachers, or to life fitness programs at colleges. What better place to start than with the people who are working with our younger women? Through creative education strategies on our part we can continue to increase the public's awareness so that fewer people have to suffer these issues in silence.

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