For Immediate Release

In Celebration of World Continence Week 2018 (#WCW2018), the European Institute of Women’s Health (EIWH) calls for increased awareness of the issues urinary incontinence poses for patients, their families and caregivers.

20th June 2018 Annually, World Continence Week (#WCW) is held by the World Federation of Incontinence Patients (WFIP) with the support of the International Continence Society from the 18th to 24th of June. #WCW works to raise awareness and to remove the stigma of bladder weakness, pelvic pain and other debilitating conditions that affect one in three people. In celebration of #WCW2018, we must encourage women to wear #pantsnotpads by promoting discussion about bladder and bowel trouble and encouraging people to get care and support.

Urinary incontinence (UI) is a widespread and disabling condition affecting between 4% and 8% of people across Europe. In 2016, about 36 million people in the EU had UI, which is more than two times more prevalent in women than it is in men. Not only are women more likely than men to develop UI, women are also disproportionately burdened by both the formal and informal caregiving required by those living with UI.

There is a lack of understanding, awareness and support. Moreover, those affected can be reluctant to seek help due to embarrassment or a belief that UI is a normal consequence of ageing and childbirth. Even when help is sought, it can be difficult for people with incontinence and their carers to navigate their way through often fragmented and inconsistent support systems.

Efforts must be made to raise awareness of the issue of urinary incontinence and the challenges the condition poses for patients, their families and caregivers. Policymakers and key stakeholders must support those with urinary incontinence with good care. During #WCW2018, the EIWH calls on key stakeholders and citizens of Europe to work together to reduce inequalities.

The EIWH calls for new policies that combat this debilitating condition that affects too many women.

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About the EIWH

Founded in 1996, the European Institute of Women’s Health (EIWH) is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) that uses an evidence-based to advocate for an equitable, sex- and gender-sensitive approach in health policy, research, promotion, treatment and care. The Institute promotes biomedical and socio-economic research that addresses sex and gender-based differences to ensure access to quality treatment and care for women across their lifespan. The EIWH strives to reduce inequities by drawing policymaker’s attention to the obstacles that women in minority, migrant, refugee and socio-economic disadvantaged groups face. The Institute’s activities work to empower individuals to play an active part in their own health management.

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