How Common is Urinary Incontinence in Women? – See the Latest Research Data

Urinary incontinence is a problem affecting bladder control. Find out how common it is in women.

If you’re experiencing bladder control issues, you’re not alone. Urinary incontinence is quite a common condition affecting millions of Americans. While anyone can develop urinary incontinence, it happens most frequently in older people, especially women.

Let’s explore how prevalent this condition truly is in women and what you can do to reduce the impact of urinary incontinence in your daily living.

How Common is Urinary Incontinence in Women?

According to a recently published national study, more than 60% of adult women in the United States experience some degree of urinary incontinence.

This 2022 study was conducted based on publicly available data from the 2015-2018 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and included 5006 community-dwelling women who were aged 20 years or older [1].

Based on findings, the prevalence of urinary incontinence in women has increased by 38%–49% compared to the data from 1999 to 2004 [1]. This may suggest that urinary incontinence is becoming increasingly common over the years, which may be due to the larger aging population.

Additionally, the study discovered that stress incontinence was the most common form of urinary incontinence in women, followed by mixed incontinence, which is the combination of stress incontinence and urge incontinence [1].

According to the study, urinary incontinence was most strongly associated with women over 70, a body mass index (BMI) above 40, and vaginal childbirth [1].

To sum it up, the majority of US adult women experience some form of urinary incontinence, and the risk of incontinence often increases with age. Thus, it’s important for women to start protecting their bladder health as early on as they can.

What Puts You at a Higher Risk of Urinary Incontinence?

Urinary incontinence is multifactorial, meaning that one single factor cannot fully explain why a person develops this condition.

Some of the factors that may put you at a higher risk of urinary incontinence include the following:-

  • Older age: As you age, your muscles gradually lose strength, and this includes your pelvic floor muscles and bladder muscles. A weak pelvic floor may contribute to stress incontinence—which is leaking urine when you cough, sneeze, laugh, or lift heavy objects—and the ability to control the urge when you need to go.
  • Certain medical conditions: Medical conditions such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease can affect the nerves controlling your bladder [2].
  • Hormone levels: Your lower urinary tract is sensitive to the effects of a female hormone known as estrogen. When estrogen levels change—for instance, during and post menopause—this can alter the structure and function of your urinary tract and lead to symptoms of incontinence [3].
  • Pregnancy or childbirth: During pregnancy, your body changes to make room for your growing baby, and this may add pressure on the bladder. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can also cause the pelvic muscles to become weaker, causing urine to leak.
  • Being overweight: Excess weight may place more pressure on your bladder, which may contribute to urinary incontinence.
  • Genetics: Research suggests that genetic factors may be linked to urinary incontinence. This means that urinary incontinence can run in the family, and having a family member with the condition could mean that you’re at a greater risk of experiencing it as well.

4 Best Ways to Naturally Reduce the Impact of Urinary Incontinence

While urinary incontinence is common, there are many ways you can naturally manage this condition.

Maintain a Bladder-Friendly Diet.

Adopting a bladder-friendly diet can help minimize urinary incontinence symptoms.

For instance, it’s best to avoid or reduce caffeine and alcohol intake. Since these are diuretics, they can increase urinary frequency and urgency [4, 5].

Additionally, it may help to increase your intake of fiber-rich foods to reduce the risk of constipation, as it is one common culprit of urinary incontinence.

Work Out Your Pelvic Floor.

Pelvic floor exercises, also known as Kegels, help to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. These muscles line the bottom of your pelvis and help to support organs such as your bladder, bowel, and uterus.

Kegels are a great way to naturally improve the strength of your pelvic floor muscles and enhance bladder control. If you’re keen on trying out pelvic floor exercises, feel free to check out our complete step-by-step guide on training your pelvic floor muscles.

Keep Active and Maintain a Healthy Weight.

Since being overweight is shown to be associated with urinary incontinence, maintaining a healthy weight is one way to manage this condition. According to some research, losing 5-10% of the baseline weight may reduce urinary incontinence episodes by about 50% in women who are overweight [6].

Try Bladder Health Supplements.

Many people take supplements for various health reasons. But did you know that certain herbal supplements can also help preserve and enhance your bladder health?

One such supplement is the BetterWOMAN bladder control supplement. This blend of 20 different herbs helps to regulate hormone levels, enhance blood circulation, and maintain the healthy functioning of your bladder muscles and nerves.

Final Thoughts

Recent research findings show that over 60% of community-dwelling women in the US experience some form of urinary incontinence. Those above 70, who are overweight, or have given birth vaginally are more likely to struggle with this condition.

Fortunately, urinary incontinence can be naturally managed through some simple steps. Bladder health supplements, such as BetterWOMAN, can also help to support optimal bladder functioning. Users who have tried this clinically-tested supplement report better bladder control, fewer urine leakages, and improved freedom and confidence.

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