The prevalence of symptomatic pelvic floor disorders in women in Bangladesh

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Objective: To investigate the prevalence of, and risk factors for, pelvic floor disorders (PFDs) in women in Bangladesh. 

Methods: A nationally representative sample of 1590 Bangladeshi women, aged 30–59 years, was recruited using a multistage cluster sampling technique, between September 2013 and March 2014. Urinary incontinence (UI), fecal incontinence (FI) and pelvic organ prolapse (POP) were assessed using validated questionnaires. The weighted prevalence and the factors associated with each PFD were investigated using multivariable weighted logistic regression. 

Results: The weighted prevalence of UI was 23.7% (95% confidence interval (CI) 21.3–26.0%), FI 5.3% (95% CI 4.0–6.6%), POP 16.2% (95% CI 14.2–18.2%), and having at least one PFD 35.3% (95% CI 32.6–37.9%). Women were more likely to have at least one PFD if aged 40–49 years (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 1.46, 95% CI 1.02–2.08; p = 0.040) or 50–59 years (AOR 2.39, 95% CI 1.59–3.58; p < 0.0001), compared with women aged 30–39 years. Having at least one PFD was positively associated with having three or more versus fewer children (AOR 1.61, 95% CI 1.14–2.27; p = 0.007), being in the middle (AOR 3.05, 95% CI 1.72–5.41; p < 0.0001), second lowest (AOR 2.49, 95% CI 1.39–4.47; p = 0.002) or lowest (AOR 3.13, 95% CI 1.68–5.86; p < 0.0001) wealth quintile compared with the highest, and self-reporting diabetes (AOR 2.55, 95% CI 1.54–4.23; p < 0.0001). 

Conclusions: One-third of Bangladeshi women aged 30–59 years had at least one symptomatic PFD. Risk factors included greater age, higher parity, lower wealth status and self-reported diabetes. The diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of PFDs in Bangladesh need greater attention, as the prevalence of these disabling conditions is likely to increase with the aging of the population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)558 - 564
Number of pages7
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2016


  • Bangladesh
  • fecal incontinence
  • pelvic floor disorders
  • pelvic organ prolapse
  • Prevalence
  • urinary incontinence

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