Urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse in primary care
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has released an updated guideline on urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. Angie Rantell explores the changes and recommendations for patients, highlighting which are relevant to management in primary care
In 2019, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence published a new guideline on urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. This articles provides an overview of the changes to the recommendations relevant to the primary care setting, mainly related to assessment and conservative management, along with a review of when to refer into specialist services. A brief overview of the changes it has made in secondary care will also be discussed.
Urinary incontinence (UI) is thought to affect up to 70% of women at some point in their life (Milsom, 2019). According to Smith et al (2010), 50% of parous women will develop a pelvic organ prolapse (POP) in their lifetime. The prevalence for both of these problems increases with age and represents a significant problem in healthcare as the population ages.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) (2006; 2013) guidelines have previously made practice recommendations for the management of female UI in primary and secondary care; however, there has never been a guideline related to POP. Given that a significant number of women will experience either UI, POP or both in their lifetime, NG123 was published in April 2019 (NICE, 2019) to not only update the UI guidelines, but to also provide the first ever guidance on the assessment and management of POP.
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