AIMS: To examine the impact of female urinary incontinence, urgency and frequency on quality of life, and partner relationship in women (18-74 years) and their partners, and make comparisons with the corresponding age groups in a Swedish population-based study.
METHODS: Women with urinary incontinence, urgency and frequency (n = 206) completed specific questionnaires concerning medical history and the Bristol Female Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms questionnaire. Women who had a stable relationship (n = 170) also answered a questionnaire regarding psychosocial situation, partner relationship and sexual life, and were asked to give a similar questionnaire to their partner. Totally, 109 partners participated.
RESULTS: The vast majority of the women considered that their urinary problems affected their physical activities negatively and almost half reported negative consequences for social life and joint activities. One third of both women and men experienced a negative impact on their relationship and about every fifth felt it had a harmful influence on physical proximity, intimacy, affection, and warmth. Compared to the older women, the younger were less satisfied with their psychological health, sexual life, leisure and financial situation, and compared to the younger men, the young women were less content with their somatic health. Overall, women with urinary problems and their partners were less satisfied with their somatic health than the corresponding age groups in the national population-based study.
CONCLUSIONS: Female urinary incontinence, urgency and frequency significantly impair the quality of life in both younger and older women, and also have negative effects on the partner relationship and the partner's life.
2009. Vol. 28, no 8, 976-981 p.