There is necessary focus on women's health in some key areas, such as cardiovascular disease, breast cancer and osteoporosis. Yet, incontinence, as related to prolapse and other comorbidities has as tremendous impact on quality of life and economics. Daily urinary incontinence affects up to 15% of women over the age of 45 years of age. The prevalence increases with age and peaks at 49-52 years. It actually ranks third behind stroke and Alzheimer's disease for effects on quality of life. Unfortunately, only 25% of women will actually discuss their incontinence with their physician. For a large portion of a woman's life, their focus is on their families, their children, their chores, their errands and least of all, whether they have made time to urinate or whether the multiple urinary tract infections are normal. By the time voiding dysfunction raises its "ugly head," > 50% are using absorbent pads, 40% seek location of toilets with outings and 30% are attempting voiding manipulation. Embarrassment only allows 25% to discuss their incontinence with their physician. These conditions then overcome their personal and professional lives, leading to depression in up to 60%.
From an economic perspective, the annual direct health care costs of urinary incontinence (treatment, care, hospital admissions, complications, diagnosis) are higher than equivalent costs of breast cancer, pneumonia and influenza combined. 50 to 75% is spent on resources for incontinence management, i.e. pads, protection and laundry.
We at the Department of Urology at Kansas University Medical Center (KUMC) are committed to recognizing, diagnosing and managing the urological issues which affect a large portion of the female population. Dr. Tomas Griebling, the Vice-Chair of the Department of Urology and Dr. Priya Padmanabhan, are board-certified and fellowship-trained members of our department who are locally and nationally involved with advancing the quality of treatment and improving in patient's quality of life as they relate to incontinence, prolapse and other complex female reconstructive issues. Other members of the Department of Urology at KUMC are specialists in different aspects of female health: cancer, stone disease, and other benign urological conditions. Please browse the links and contact numbers on our website. We hope this is informative and helpful as you address any concerns you have.