Is Incontinence Becoming More Common?

Posted on: 28th Jun, 2024


It seems like more and more people are struggling with bladder and bowel incontinence than ever. Is that true? Is incontinence becoming more common?

According To The Data

According to a number of data sources, the prevalence of bladder and bowel incontinence does indeed appear to be increasing, especially among older adults. Here are some key insights based on recent data:

More than half of adult women in the U.S. experience some form of urinary incontinence, with prevalence increasing significantly with age. Among women in their 70s or older, more than two-thirds report experiencing urinary incontinence​ (Urology Times)​​ (BioMed Central)​. That’s a startlingly high number, and it’s entirely logical to wonder why. What’s causing greater instances of incontinence?

The rising prevalence can be attributed to various factors, including an aging population, higher body mass index (BMI), and other health conditions such as diabetes and neurological disorders. Stress and anxiety may also be linked to incontinence issues​ (Urology Times)​​ (BioMed Central)​.

Around The World

The prevalence of urinary incontinence in older adults varies worldwide, with some countries reporting higher rates than others. For example, a meta-analysis found that the prevalence of urinary incontinence among older women globally is around 37.1%, with significant variation depending on the country and study​ (BioMed Central)​.

Regardless of where you live, the biggest hurdle for those living with incontinence is misunderstanding the condition. Many individuals with incontinence issues do not seek medical help, often due to stigma or lack of awareness about treatment options. Too many people simply manage the symptoms in silence, with adult diapers, restricted social activity, or hyper vigilance about the nearest bathroom. Those who speak to their doctor may find unsatisfactory assistance or a prescription for bladder control medications, which aren’t particularly effective and come with a number of concerning side effects.

Few people, and surprisingly few doctors, realize that the whole problem can be largely solved by a 20-minute procedure called sacral neuromodulation that implants a tiny pacemaker to regulate the pelvic floor muscles. It’s comparable to a pacemaker for the heart, working to help these muscles regain their tone and coordination. The most recent versions solve 90% of bladder and bowel leakage, according to published clinical studies. It’s a drug-free, FDA-approved treatment performed under local anesthesia and it’s covered by Medicare and almost all health insurance plans.

The Bottom Line

These trends suggest that bladder and bowel incontinence is indeed becoming more common, particularly as the global population ages. Efforts to increase awareness, improve management and offer sacral neuromodulation are essential to address this growing health concern. For more detailed information, you can refer to resources from the CDC and recent studies on the topic: CDC Report on Incontinence.

If you’re ready to learn more about sacral neuromodulation for yourself or a loved one, contact the team at The Continence Center of Nevada Surgical today. We’re happy to answer your questions.

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