The impact of fecal and urinary incontinence on quality of life 6 months after childbirth

Academic Article


  • Objective: The objective of the study was to investigate the impact of postpartum fecal incontinence (FI) and urinary incontinence (UI) on quality of life (QOL). Study Design: Seven hundred fifty-nine primiparous women in the Childbirth and Pelvic Symptoms study were interviewed 6 months postpartum. FI and UI were assessed with validated questionnaires. We measured QOL with SF-12 summary scores, health utility index score (a measure of self-rated overall health), and the modified Manchester Health Questionnaire. Results: Women with FI had worse self-rated health utility index scores (85.1 ± 9.8 vs 88.0 ± 11.6, P = .02) and Medical Outcomes Study Short Form Health Survey (SF-12) mental summary scores (46.8 ± 9.2 vs 51.1 ± 8.7, P < .0001) than women without FI or flatal incontinence. Women with UI had worse SF-12 mental summary scores (48.3 ± 9.8 vs 51.6 ± 7.8, P < .01) and self-rated health utility index scores (84.1 ± 12.5 vs 88.7 ± 10.1, P < .01) than women without UI. Women with both FI and UI had the lowest SF-12 mental summary scores (44.5 ± 9.0). Conclusion: Six months after delivery, women experiencing FI or UI reported negative effects on health-related QOL. FI and UI together have a greater impact than either condition alone. © 2007 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Handa VL; Zyczynski HM; Burgio KL; Fitzgerald MP; Borello-France D; Janz NK; Fine PM; Whitehead W; Brown MB; Weber AM
  • Start Page

  • 636.e1
  • End Page

  • 636.e6
  • Volume

  • 197
  • Issue

  • 6