• Meta-analysis;
  • obesity;
  • urinary incontinence;
  • weight loss


Although the aetiology of urinary incontinence can be multifactorial, in some cases weight loss could be considered as a part of the therapeutic approach for urinary incontinence in people who are overweight. The objective of this study was to review and meta-analyse the effect of non-surgical weight loss interventions on urinary incontinence in overweight women. Web of Science, PubMed, Pedro, SPORTDiscus and Cochrane were systematically searched for clinical trials that met the a priori set criteria. Data of women who participated in non-surgical weight loss interventions (diet, exercise, medication or a combination) were included in the meta-analysis. After removing duplicates, 62 articles remained for screening on title, abstract and full text. Six articles (totalling 2,352 subjects in the intervention groups) were included for meta-analysis. The mean change in urinary incontinence (reported as frequency or quantity, depending on the study) after a non-surgical weight loss intervention, expressed as standardized effect size and corrected for small sample sizes (Hedges' g), was −0.30 (95%CI = −0.47 to −0.12). This systematic review and meta-analysis shows evidence that a non-surgical weight loss intervention has the potential to improve urinary incontinence and should be considered part of standard practice in the management of urinary incontinence in overweight women.