Urinary incontinence is any involuntary leakage of urine. It has serious negative health impacts on quality of life in pregnant women. According to the scientific committee of the International Continence Society report, worldwide prevalence of urinary incontinence estimated ranges between 32% and 64% among pregnant women. However, there is scarcity of evidence on prevalence and associated factors of urinary incontinence in Ethiopia.
The aims of this study were to assess prevalence and associated factors of urinary incontinence among pregnant women attending antenatal care in public health facilities of Mekelle city, Tigray, Ethiopia.
Institution-based cross-sectional study design was conducted. Data were collected using an interviewer-administered structured questionnaire. Physical examination was done to assess the strength of pelvic floor muscles. The data were entered to EPI Info version 7 and analyzed using SPSS version 23. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were done to investigate the factors associated with urinary incontinence.
Among 317 respondents, the prevalence of urinary incontinence was 23%. The contributing factors that had statistically significant association with urinary incontinence were gestational age (adjusted odds ratio: 9.6 (1.87–49.39, 95%), parity (adjusted odds ratio: 6.32 (1.48–27.05), 95% confidence interval), prior miscarriage (adjusted odds ratio: 6.28 (2.15–18.28), 95% confidence interval), constipation (adjusted odds ratio: 8.25 (3.12–21.84), 95% confidence interval), respiratory problem (adjusted odds ratio: 6.31 (2.05–19.43), 95% confidence interval), and weak pelvic floor muscle (adjusted odds ratio: 7.55 (2.51–22.67), 95% confidence interval).
The prevalence of urinary incontinence is moderate compared to other studies. Gestational age, parity, prior miscarriage, having constipation, having respiratory problem, and weak pelvic floor muscle had significant association with urinary incontinence. This finding will help to increase the awareness of health care professionals involved in the care of pregnant women about urinary incontinence.