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Parliamentary questions
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20 April 2015
Question for written answer E-006244-15
to the Commission
Rule 130
Ana Gomes (S&D)

 Subject:  Incontinence in developing countries
 Answer in writing 

The right to sexual and reproductive health is acknowledged internationally as a universal human right. Despite this, in many developing countries around the world this basic right is not respected. Very often, owing to poor sexual and reproductive health and rights, women suffer serious illness following childbirth. Post-pregnancy-related illnesses include conditions such as incontinence.

Incontinence can cause shame, dependency, stress, depression, social isolation and stigmatisation. The World Health Organisation recognises that several conditions, including faecal and urinary incontinence, cause widespread maternal morbidity but receive little attention as public health concerns. The morbidity in connection with faecal incontinence is even more devastating and underreported and affects a notable proportion of women after vaginal delivery. In fact, incontinence is a serious medical condition that affects between 4% and 8% of the population worldwide. However, owing to its private nature, this condition is often neglected on the public health agenda.

Is the Commission aware of the severe consequences, such as incontinence, that poor sexual and reproductive health provision can have on women’s health?

Is it planning to take any concrete action to raise awareness about incontinence?

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