Saturday, February 16, 2008

Keeping track of toilets

Overactive bladders are common in women of age. These twitchy holding tanks no longer relax to accommodate a load of urine sent down from the kidneys. Sudden and unpredictable contractions, therefore, cause women to scurry for the nearest restroom. We laugh amongst ourselves, we older women do, that we all know the location of bathrooms in all our favorite stores, a skill made easier for many as we already found them when we used to tote around small children.

All joking aside, European doctors wondered if women who leak REALLY know where all the toilets are. Dr. Annette Kuhn and her colleagues(1) sent questionnaires to 270 women with stress incontinence(2), overactive bladder, or well-behaved bladders. The authors visited the toilets to validate the groups' answers. Their conclusion?

Women with overactive bladder are more likely to exhibit precautionary voiding prior to leaving home and have significantly more detailed knowledge about toilets in their neighbourhood...The overactive bladder seems to have a greater influence on behaviour and on quality of life than stress incontinence which could mean that they are more tortured by their symptoms.
(1) Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2006 Nov;129(1):65-8.
(2) Stress incontinence is notable for leakage with events such sneezing, coughing, or running. It is caused not so much by bladder overactivity as age- and pregnancy-related slumping of the bladder and urethra.


Ruth said...

Your post made me chuckle. Home Care therapists often discuss the best available facilities in the region. The rural county I visited full time for 4 years had one coffee shop and one nursing home where I could use a toilet. I hated asking my patients to use theirs. I planned my visits around my expected loo needs.(and drank little til I got home!)

Mauigirl said...

I've always made sure to know where all the toilets are - even at a young age I never liked to be without one when I needed it!