PURPOSE - While lower urinary tract symptoms and bladder behaviors are known to be associated with certain occupations, little is known about restroom access or environmental factors which may contribute to this relationship. We aimed to characterize reasons that women limit restroom use at work. We also sought to determine whether women who limit use at work report more unhealthy bladder habits and lower urinary tract symptoms.
MATERIALS AND METHODS - We performed a cross-sectional study of full-time working women in the United States. Women completed validated questionnaires recording toileting behaviors, lower urinary tract symptoms and perceptions of the occupational toilet environment. We compared women who limited restroom use at work most or all of the time to those who did not limit or did so occasionally or sometimes.
RESULTS - Of the 3,062 women in the final analytical sample 11% reported limiting restroom use at work most or all of the time. This group reported lower satisfaction with restroom cleanliness and privacy in particular. They more frequently identified toilet factors of poor quality, limited accessibility and restricted use by employer. The prevalence of unhealthy bladder habits was significantly higher among women who limited restroom use, as was the prevalence of urgency, monthly urinary incontinence and infrequent voiding.
CONCLUSIONS - In this cross-sectional study of women working full time those who limited restroom use at work reported a higher prevalence of unhealthy bladder habits and certain urinary disorders. Future studies should determine whether limited restroom use at work is a modifiable risk factor for unhealthy bladder habits and bladder health outcomes.