Urinary incontinence and women crossfit competitors

Lolita Wikander, Marilynne N Kirshbaum, Daniel E Gahreman

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)
    72 Downloads (Pure)


    Purpose: Urinary incontinence is a common condition that potentially discourages women from participating in physical activity. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of urinary and athletic incontinence and establish which activities and contexts were most likely to provoke urine leakage in women CrossFit competitors.

    Patients and Methods: This research was an international, cross-sectional, survey-based study. The online survey was completed by 452 women CrossFit competitors. The Incontinence Severity Index was used to determine the frequency and severity of urinary incontinence.

    Results: Urinary incontinence was experienced by 41.8% of participants in the three months prior to the study and 17.7% experienced athletic incontinence. Women came to experience athletic incontinence through two different pathways. Some women were continent before commencing CrossFit (9.7%), remain continent during everyday activities but now experience urinary incontinence during exercise. Alternatively, 8% of women were incontinent before commencing CrossFit, are now continent during everyday activities but remain incontinent during exercise. High impact CrossFit activities were most likely to provoke urinary incontinence.

    Conclusion: This study highlighted the importance of distinguishing between urinary incontinence that develops after commencing an exercise program in otherwise continent women and urinary incontinence that persists only during exercise in previously incontinent women.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1189-1195
    Number of pages7
    JournalInternational Journal of Women's Health
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


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