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J R Soc Med. 2005 June; 98(6): 291.
PMCID: PMC1142244

Female Urinary Incontinence in Practice

Reviewed by C R Chapple

Matthew Parsons, Linda Cardozo
120 pp Price £17.95 ISBN 1-85315-581-0 (p/b)
London: RSM Press.

From epidemiological studies we now have a clear picture of the scale of distress resulting from female incontinence. The condition is widespread, and costly to both affected persons and the community. Linda Cardozo (well-known for her work on the subject) and her colleague Matthew Parsons provide an excellent overview in a short space. After an introduction on embryology, anatomy, and physiology they proceed to assessment of the patient with a stepwise approach that gives special emphasis to urodynamics, including imaging of the urinary tract. We are then offered a classification of incontinence, and later chapters are given over to stress incontinence and detrusor overactivity (with useful accounts of therapeutic options). Other topics are voiding difficulty, urinary tract infection and sensory disorders of the lower urinary tract. All these overviews are well balanced, but I confess to slight disappointment with the item on sensory disorders. I would have welcomed more information on pelvic pain syndrome, which is very troublesome in clinical practice; Parsons and Cardozo concentrate on sensory bladder and urethral disorders and say little about management of associated conditions such as endometriosis. Also, when they deal with hormone replacement therapy, I would have appreciated more advice on which preparations to use, in the light of the new findings on adverse effects. They conclude with a review of pads, catheters and containments and a chapter on frequently asked questions. Among the appendices is a useful list of patient-led and professional organizations. The book is well laid out and easy to read.

Articles from Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine are provided here courtesy of Royal Society of Medicine Press