Urinary incontinence, the involuntary leakage of urine, is caused by a variety of factors and may result in a wide range of urinary symptoms that can affect women’s physical, psychological, and social well-being and sometimes can impose significant lifestyle restrictions. Identifying the etiology of each woman’s urinary incontinence symptoms and developing an individualized treatment plan is essential for improving her quality of life. The purpose of this joint document of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Urogynecologic Society is to review information on the current understanding of urinary incontinence in women and to outline guidelines for diagnosis and management that are consistent with the best available scientific evidence.
Committee on Practice Bulletins—Gynecology and the American Urogynecologic Society. This Practice Bulletin was developed by the Committee on Practice Bulletins—Gynecology and the American Urogynecologic Society with the assistance of Kimberly S. Kenton, MD, and Scott W. Smilen, MD. The information is designed to aid practitioners in making decisions about appropriate obstetric and gynecologic care. These guidelines should not be construed as dictating an exclusive course of treatment or procedure. Variations in practice may be warranted based on the needs of the individual patient, resources, and limitations unique to the institution or type of practice.
This article also appears in Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Replaces Practice Bulletin Number 63, June 2005.