Silent Epidemics: Urinary Incontinence and Genital Prolapse
27.6% of all women, i.e. 1 billion women, suffer from urinary incontinence (IPFD, 2007). Genital prolapse occurs when the pelvic organs fall from their normal position into or through the vagina, causing discomfort, pain and discharge, which may also coexist with incontinence. 9.3% of all women, i.e. 316 million women, suffer from genital prolapse (Vos, 2012). Despite the high prevalence, current solutions are unhelpful: Surgery to address urinary incontinence cannot be carried out while a woman is still in her pregnancies period - only 70% of women who can and are willing to be operated on are successful; expensive absorbent pads/garments can cause skin irritation/breakdown/infection and are not covered by insurers since they are personal hygiene products; drugs are overused with side effects; and different shapes/sizes pessary devices are used but are unhelpful, requiring time/effort to insert/fit into the vagina and the repeated assistance of a doctor, causing the woman embarrassment and more expenses.