How do the prevalences of urogenital symptoms change during pregnancy?




The aim of this study was to report the changes in prevalences of urogenital symptoms during pregnancy and to evaluate the amount of bother nulliparous pregnant women experience from these symptoms.


We have used a prospective longitudinal cohort study design. Five hundred fifteen nulliparous women with a singleton pregnancy were recruited from 10 midwifery practices between January 2002 and July 2003. The women received postal questionnaires. Urogenital symptoms were assessed with the Dutch version of the standardized and validated Urogenital Distress Inventory (UDI). We analyzed our data on item level and on the clustering of items.


The prevalences of the frequency and urgency symptoms are high at 12 weeks (74% and 63%) and remain stable during pregnancy. The prevalences of urinary incontinence and voiding difficulties increase with gestational age. Frequency disappears in 12% in late pregnancy, urgency in 22%, and stress incontinence in 23%. The prevalence of bothersome frequency symptoms is much higher than of urinary incontinence (21% compared to 6%). All UDI subscales increase significantly during pregnancy.


Urogenital symptoms occur in almost all women during pregnancy. Whereas the prevalence of overactive bladder symptoms is high and remains stable from early pregnancy on, the prevalences of urinary incontinence symptoms increase with gestational age. Despite the high prevalences of symptoms, the majority of women report not to be bothered by it. Neurourol. Urdynam. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.