European Institute of womens health, Eurohealth health logoPRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release

29th November 2018—The European Institute of Women’s Health (EIWH) officially launches the next policy brief in its series,

“Women and Incontinence in the EU,”

in order to highlight this widespread, disabling and debilitating condition.

Urinary incontinence (UI) is a widespread disabling and debilitating condition affecting 10% to 20% of people across Europe.i

In 2016, about 60 million people in Europe experienced urinary incontinence (UI), which is two times more common in women than in men. Not only are women more likely than men to develop UI, women are also disproportionately burdened by the caregiving of those living with UI as women provide the majority of both formal and informal care to people living with UI.

There is a lack of understanding, awareness and support surrounding the condition. Many aspects of UI are overlooked or poorly understood by both policymakers and health professionals. Moreover, those affected by UI are often 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, people with incontinence and their carers can struggle to navigate their way through often fragmented and inconsistent support systems.

The EIWH’s EU Manifesto for Women’s Health calls for concerted action to reduce sex and genderinequities. The Manifesto calls on Europe to promote a positive lifecourse approach to health as well as prevent disease in women and their families Better continence care across Europe can help those affected to live active, independent and dignified lives and help to reduce the burden on caregivers.

Stakeholders and policymakers must come together to bring about positive change.
For more information, please visit:

European Institute of Women’s Health website:
European Institute of Women’s Health policy briefs at:

EU Manifesto for Women’s Health:

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 approach 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.

i 7th Global Forum on Incontinence. 2018.

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