Purpose: Most cases of the incontinence can be prevented or improved but tend to be neglected, leading to a reduced likelihood of consultation and medical examination. As a result, there is a paucity of literature dealing with the frequency of, and the patient response to, urinary incontinence. The aim of the present study was to clarify the frequency of urinary incontinence and describe patients’ self-care responses with a view to obtaining basic data on
incontinence prevention and care improvement. Methods: We performed a search for Japanese articles published between 1970 and 2018 in the Ichushi website using the keywords, “urinary incontinence” “female,” “elderly,”, and “region.” We retrieved 7,045 documents, of which 32 were enrolled. We then analyzed the frequency of urinary incontinence symptoms and self-care responses while also examining variations in the definition of incontinence. Results: The definition of urinary incontinence depended on the researcher, and questionnaires on urinary incontinence were subjective. The incidence of urinary incontinence of several times a week or more was 14.0% for persons aged 40 to 60 years and 17.1 to 23.2% for those aged 65 years or older. The respondents reported using pads or diapers as part of their self-care. In fact, only 3.0% sought medical advice. Pelvic floor muscle exercises were performed by 11.4% of persons employed as medical university staff while other subjects performed almost no self-care activities. Conclusion: Our study found that the definition of urinary incontinence is not uniform. In the future, research clarifying the definition of urinary incontinence and the characteristic of the age groups affected by this condition needs to be carried out.