(HealthDay News) – Urinary incontinence (UI) is common in self-reports by young women who have never been pregnant.

Tessa O’Halloran, from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, and colleagues surveyed 1,620 young women who had never been pregnant; 1,018 (63%) responded and data were analyzed for 1,002 women (mean age, 22.5 years). Surveys, using the Questionnaire for Urinary Incontinence Diagnosis, the Psychological General Well-Being Index (PGWBI), the King’s Health Questionnaire, and the International Physical Activity Questionnaire-Short Form, were conducted on university campuses and in health clinics.

The researchers found that the rate of any UI was 12.6% (95% confidence interval [CI], 10.5–14.7%). Students had slightly more self-reported incontinence than nonstudents (13.2% [95% CI, 11.0–15.8%] vs. 10.6% [95% CI, 6.7–14.6%]). Rates of UI were highest among students who were ever sexually active and not using combined oral contraceptives (21.5% [95% CI, 16.7–27.3%]). Significantly lower overall well-being was reported by women with UI than women without UI.

“In a sample of young nulligravid women, UI was associated with ever being sexually active and no combined oral contraceptive use, as well as lower psychological well-being,” the authors write.

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