Imagine that you have a health problem that you hesitate to talk about and try to live with, thinking that it is unresolvable. Moreover, you cannot avoid missing out on many special and beautiful moments in your life, solely because of this problem. Not to mention the fact that it even leads to depression as it takes you away from work and social life. Experts say that you do not have to endure all these unfavorable consequences and add: ‘Do not miss a thing in life, there is always a way as long as you wish’
Many women suffer from this condition but avoid naming it. Some people think that there is no solution, while the vast majority is simply embarrassed to see a doctor for this issue, eventually organizing their whole life around this problem. However, according to experts, most of these consequences stem from a lack of information.



So, what is this problem that women avoid talking about? URINARY INCONTINENCE… 400 million people around the world have this problem. In Türkiye, 2.7 million women, that is one in every four women over the age of 40 years, experience this condition. Studies show that 87% of women with this disorder in Türkiye lack self-confidence and 75% fear going out.

Chairperson of the Turkish Continence Society Prof. Dr. Oktay Demirkesen, who has conducted important research on female urology and functional urology, explains that this problem is more common in women. Citing data from the International Continence Society, Prof. Dr. Demirkesen states that 400 million people in the world and 50 million people in Europe suffer from urinary incontinence and that this issue is a growing problem in Türkiye as well.

Demirkesen explains the underlying causes of urinary incontinence, associated risk factors, and the ways to prevent this condition:

“Since urinary incontinence is often considered an embarrassing issue, I believe this project will be very beneficial. In studies on the incidence of urinary incontinence in Türkiye, we have observed that 25 percent to 40 percent of women suffer from urinary incontinence. Furthermore, a patient population of around 12-13 percent avoids seeing a doctor for urinary incontinence. In other words, a considerable number of urinary continence patients do not consult us, the specialists, for a solution. Embarrassment, family pressure, or pressure from the spouse may be the contributing factors in our society. Another factor is considering urinary incontinence incurable and this prevents individuals from consulting a specialist. However, with highly important advances in treatment methods, we achieve high success rates. Thus, we advise women to see a physician when they encounter such a problem.



Urinary incontinence can develop due to a variety of reasons. Although not commonly, it can occur as the primary symptom of certain neurological diseases. Therefore, urinary incontinence should not be ignored. This disorder may also cause psychological distress and depression. Withdrawal from work life, seeking early retirement, loss of labor force… Taken altogether, this is actually a condition that has many implications for healthcare systems.

Needless to say, not all urinary incontinence cases are the same. Therefore, appropriate treatment can be determined only after the cause is identified. We can roughly classify urinary incontinence into two groups as cases originating from the urinary bladder itself or its outlet. Underlying risk factors include aging, pregnancy, modes of giving birth, body weight, metabolic diseases such as diabetes, and mental problems of advanced age. The treatment process relies on an approach that takes all these aspects into consideration. Nevertheless, I can say that age is the most definitive risk factor. Genetic factors should be considered, too, when this problem occurs in several members of a family.



In order to prevent urinary incontinence, the pelvic floor needs to be strengthened. Exercise is an important factor for this purpose and workouts specifically scheduled for this condition contribute significantly. One should definitely engage in such workouts during the periods before and after giving birth. I recommend these exercises to all women, even in the absence of risk factors. For the purpose of avoiding any misinformation, I strongly recommend that physicians, who are interested in this subject matter, should instruct individuals about such workouts, which are referred to as Kegel exercises. Kegel exercises are highly beneficial, protective, and indeed have a therapeutic effect on urinary incontinence to a certain extent.”


Source: Sözcü Özel

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