WebMD Health News
Louise Chang, MD
Sept. 25, 2008 -- It's a delicate subject, but one that many women
Urinary incontinence, or leaking
urine, is a common, embarrassing female problem that keeps women from working out or playing sports.
Researchers wanted to take a look at stress urinary incontinence in the
general population of women who play sports for recreation to see if they could
find out who is more at risk and what can be done about it. Stress urinary
incontinence is characterized by involuntary leakage of urine related to
activity, such as coughing, sneezing, or
The study was led by Stefano Salvatore, MD, from the University of Insubria
in Varese, Italy. The researchers gathered information from 679 women whose
average age was 36. The participants were not professional athletes and were
still having regular periods.
The women played basketball (17%), tennis and squash (11%), skied and
windsurfed (7%), were cyclers and volleyball players (6%), and swimmers
Among the women surveyed:
Of the 101 women who experienced stress urinary incontinence:
The authors write that women who deal with stress urinary incontinence
"should be given information and offered diagnostic and conservative
The authors point out that pelvic floor exercises to strengthen the muscles
around the bladder "can be very helpful."
The results are published in the British Journal of Sports
SOURCES:Salvatore, S. British Journal of Sports Medicine, manuscript received
ahead of print.News release, British Journal of Sports Medicine.
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