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Study Shows Incontinence Prevents Women from Taking Part in Sports

Posted Oct 01 2008 4:19pm

According to an Italian study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, incontinence keeps many women from taking part in sports.

In a survey of 679 Italian young and middle-aged women, researchers found that 1 in 7 were bothered by urinary stress incontinence.

Dr. Stefano Salvatore from the University of Insubria found that being overweight or having children boosted the likelihood of having urinary stress incontinence.

One in 10 women said the problem led them to give up their favorite sport, while one in 5 women said they limited the way they engaged in the sport in a bid to reduce leaking.

Sports with repetitive bouncing, such as tennis and squash, were associated with the highest incidence of incontinence episodes.

Researchers of this study say it shows that urinary incontinence, even when mild, can have a harmful impact on the quality of women’s lives by limiting their participation in sporting activities. Despite this, few women seek help.

Salvatore adds: Women ‘should be given information and offered diagnostic and conservative therapeutic options,’ including pelvic floor exercises, which have proven to be very effective in alleviating urinary incontinence.

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