ONE in 10 women over the age of 40 suffers from incontinence, but less than half consult their GP or tell their partner, according to a survey of more than 800 women. Sufferers kept the condition secret because of embarrassment, and because they do not want to be seen as old, says a report in Mims.

Another small survey has found that women at risk of cervical cancer are afraid of going for a smear. The survey of 87 women was undertaken in Grimsby, Humberside, where deaths from cervical cancer are more than double the national average. More than half the women were afraid, or too embarrassed, to be tested, a report in the Health Service Journal says. Almost one-third did not want to be screened by a male doctor or a doctor whom they knew.