If you believe that female urinary incontinence is just for those who are older, you would be wrong. In fact, women who are athletes or highly active are actually the most likely to experience some form of urinary incontinence. According to one study of almost 300 female exercisers, one in three said that they leaked during exercise. The participants in the study ranged in age from 17 to 68. Another study in 2001 actually showed an even stronger connection. This was a study on elite female athletes, though, but 41% said that they experienced symptoms of female urinary incontinence either when exercising or conducting daily activities.
Now if you’re asking yourself why athletes and active women may experience female urinary incontinence more often than sedentary women, you are not alone. Doctors had the same question. Regular exercise and training are supposed to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. However, some believe that the increased prevalence may be due to structural damage that could occur when those pelvic muscles are put under extended stress – such as during strength training or calisthenics. So those muscles, tissue, and ligaments that support the pelvis are actually weakened, causing an increased risk of female urinary incontinence.
So What Can Active Women Do to Treat Incontinence?
Shout from the Rooftop that You Have Incontinence: Okay, maybe you don’t have to go that far, but too many women are silent about their condition and don’t believe that there is anything that can be done. This couldn’t be further from the truth. There are a number of treatments available, but you’ll need to speak to your doctor and receive an examination to ensure that there isn’t an underlying condition that is causing the incontinence. Don’t be embarrassed about incontinence; it’s more common than you think.
Purchase Urinary Incontinence Supplies: Did you know that you can find dependable incontinence supplies for women, like underpads and swim briefs, that can help you stay dry if an event does occur? As you treat your condition, incontinence supplies can ensure normalcy in your day-to-day life.
Do Exercises at Home: In study after study, there has been positive evidence that Kegel exercises can strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. If you have never done a Kegel before, it’s very easy. All you do is squeeze your pelvic floor muscles and then relax them. And then you repeat. If you are unable to do this, pelvic floor physical therapy can help you improve your posture, which also helps to normalize pelvic floor function.