A study on urogenital complaints of postmenopausal women aged 50 and over


*Umran Yesiltepe Oskay
Department of Obstetric and Gynecologic Nursing
Florence Nightingale College of Nursing
Istanbul University
Sisli 80270
e-mail: aposkay@superonline.com


Objective.  The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of urogenital complaints in postmenopausal women aged 50 and over.

Methods.  The study was carried out in the city of Istanbul on women within the age range of 50 and over. The statistical figures for these women were obtained from the latest national census. The number of sampling was determined to be 500, each representing a population of 10 000 women. Thus, the sampling consisted of 500 postmenopausal women who had applied to various health centers either to seek remedy for their health problems other than urinary incontinence (UI) or to accompany inpatients. Women in the surgical stage of menopause were excluded from the study group. A specifically designed questionnaire was used to gather data on urogenital complaints. The data obtained by this means was analyzed according to Thomas criteria, which classifies incontinence as rare, regularly and serious. UI was defined according to the International Continence Society (ICS) classification.

Results.  Of the interviewees 68.8% reported UI, 28.8% of whom had serious UI requires continuously the use of ped. It was determined that 37.2% of the women with UI had stress incontinence symptoms, 32.3% urge incontinence symptoms, and 30.5% mixed incontinence. Of the women 46.5% had UI problems for 5 years or longer, and 75% reported that their complaints had started after menopause; 18.2% of the women suffered from vaginal discharge and pruritus, while 23% experienced vaginal dryness; 51.2% of the women were sexually active. However, 83.6% of this group of women reported a decrease in sexual desire and frequency of intercourse. Likewise, 78.1% experienced a decline in sexual satisfaction, 77.7% difficulty in having orgasm, and 45.3% dyspareunia. Logistic regression analysis showed that existence of a chronic illness, frequent urethral infections, a high value of body mass index and chronic constipation increased the prevalence of UI.

Conclusions.  Urinary incontinence and sexual problems, particularly decline in sexual desire, are widespread among postmenopausal women. Frequent urinary tract infections, obesity, chronic constipation and other chronic illnesses seem to be the predictors of UI.