Does urinary incontinence occurrence depend on the menstrual cycle phase?


Address for correspondence:
Lone Hvidman
Department of Epidemiology and Social Medicine
University of Aarhus
Vennelyst Boulevard 6
DK-8000 Aarhus C


Background. The aim was to study an eventual co-variation of menstrual cycle progression and urinary incontinence (UI) occurrence in 20–54-year-old-women, who have regular menstrual cycles, which are not influenced by exogenous sex hormones.

Methods. An age-stratified random sample of of 3900 women, aged 20–59 years, answered a questionnaire on UI. The present analysis included 821 women, who reported regular menstrual cycles un-intervened by sex hormone intake.

Results. Five percent of the women reported episodes of UI the day before they answered the questionnaire. Urinary incontinence was unassociated with menstrual cycle characteristics, such as time position from day one in the menstrual cycle, presence and amount of bleeding and the number of sanitory towels or tampons used. There was however, a borderline significant association (P = 0.08) with day 11–15 before the expected next menstrual bleeding.

Conclusions. The present data allow for limited co-variation, if any, to exist in UI ocurrence with the natural menstrual cycle phases, including the menstruation itself. A hypothesis of a moderate UI increase associated with ovulation however, merits attention.