Prevalence of urinary incontinence and anal incontinence: an internet-based cross-sectional study of female Turkish University students

GÖKMEN KARASU A. F., ÇETİN Ç., PASİN Ö., Karacabay M., Tanoglu F. B., Ilhan G.

International Urogynecology Journal, vol.34, no.9, pp.2309-2315, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 34 Issue: 9
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00192-023-05573-7
  • Journal Name: International Urogynecology Journal
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Page Numbers: pp.2309-2315
  • Keywords: Urinary incontinence, Anal incontinence, Flatal incontinence, Fecal incontinence, Pelvic floor disorder
  • Bezmialem Vakıf University Affiliated: Yes


Introduction and hypothesis: The objective of this cross-sectional, epidemiological study was to characterize urinary tract and bowel symptom prevalence and the extent of discomfort/bother associated with them. Additionally, the authors aimed to explore factors associated with both conditions among Turkish female university students. Also, an insight into women’s “communication regarding urinary incontinence and anal incontinence” with their family members was sought. Methods: This is an internet-based national cross-sectional study. A study-specific 30-item questionnaire containing validated measures of symptom prevalence and bother (Urogenital Distress Inventory questionnaire short form and Colorectal-Anal Distress Inventory) were incorporated into the survey. Out of a total of 2,125 e-mail invitations that were sent, 1,226 responded with data included in this analysis. Results: The age and BMI of all respondents were 26.53 ± 10.082, 23.45 ± 6.609 respectively. Nine hundred and eighty-five (80.5%) respondents claimed that they did not suffer a UI episode in the last year, whereas 10 people (0.08%) claimed that they had a urinary incontinence episode every day. Three hundred and fifty-seven responders (29.1%) stated that they suffered from “gas incontinence,” 6 (0.5%) stool incontinence, and 20 (1.6%) declared that they had episodes of both stool and gas incontinence. Five hundred and forty-four participants (44%) reported that they had family relatives with a problem of “urinary incontinence” and 576 (47%) stated they had a conversation on “urinary incontinence.” Seventy-five of the responders (6.1%) stated that they had a family member with “anal incontinence” and 246 (20.1%) responded that they had a conversation regarding “anal incontinence” with them. Conclusion: We have demonstrated that the prevalence of UI was 19.5%. Twenty-nine percent stated they suffered “gas incontinence,” 0.5% stool incontinence, and 1.6% declared that they had episodes of both stool and gas incontinence.