Urinary Incontinence in Women Who Practice Recreational Exercise: A Cross-Sectional Study

Authors

  • Maria Francisca Silva Faculdade de Medicina. Universidade do Porto. Porto.
  • Rui Prado Costa Serviço de Medicina Física e Reabilitação. Centro Hospitalar Universitário de São João. Porto. https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3390-739X
  • Carla Maria Oliveira i3S - Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúde. Universidade do Porto. Porto. INEB - Instituto de Engenharia Biomédica. Universidade do Porto. Porto. ESS-IPP - Escola Superior da Saúde do Porto. Instituto Politécnico do Porto. Porto. https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4594-1723
  • Susana Moreira Serviço de Medicina Física e Reabilitação. Centro Hospitalar Universitário de São João. Porto.

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.20344/amp.14004

Keywords:

Exercise, Sports, Urinary Incontinence

Abstract

Introduction: Urinary incontinence affects up to one third of women in Portugal. Exercise can be a precipitating/aggravating factor but also protective, if appropriate. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of urinary incontinence in women who practice recreational exercise, to assess its relationship with the type of exercise and other coexisting risk factors, and assess whether the topic is addressed in gyms.
Material and Methods: Cross-sectional study using self-reported questionnaires in gyms in Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal.
Results: Two hundred and ninety women completed the questionnaires. From these, 67.6% were under 40 years old, 25.2% reported incontinence, and 53.4% had at least one risk factor unrelated to exercise. There was a statistically significant association (p < 0.05) between incontinence, obesity and constipation. High impact exercises were included in the training of 62.1% continent and 50.9% incontinent women. The topic of incontinence and strengthening of the pelvic floor muscles was addressed in only 5.5% in the initial assessment, 9.7% in collective training, and in 13.5% of the 37 women with individualized training.
Discussion: The higher proportion of continent women - compared to incontinent - who practiced strenuous exercise suggests that this might be a provocative factor for some, although there was no statistically significant association between incontinence and type of exercise.
Conclusion: Urinary incontinence affects women who practice recreational exercise, regardless of age and exercise characteristics. It is rarely addressed in gyms, and it is necessary to raise the awareness of professionals to enhance the preventive/therapeutic effects of exercise on the function of the pelvic floor and in the control of modifiable risk factors.

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Author Biographies

Maria Francisca Silva, Faculdade de Medicina. Universidade do Porto. Porto.

Estudante de Medicina da Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade do Porto

Rui Prado Costa, Serviço de Medicina Física e Reabilitação. Centro Hospitalar Universitário de São João. Porto.

Médico do Serviço de Medicina Física e de Reabilitação do CHUSJ

Carla Maria Oliveira, i3S - Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúde. Universidade do Porto. Porto. INEB - Instituto de Engenharia Biomédica. Universidade do Porto. Porto. ESS-IPP - Escola Superior da Saúde do Porto. Instituto Politécnico do Porto. Porto.

Professor Adjunto Convidado da ESS do IPP

Susana Moreira, Serviço de Medicina Física e Reabilitação. Centro Hospitalar Universitário de São João. Porto.

Médico Especialista em Medicina Física e de Reabilitação

Published

2021-11-02

How to Cite

1.
Silva MF, Prado Costa R, Oliveira CM, Moreira S. Urinary Incontinence in Women Who Practice Recreational Exercise: A Cross-Sectional Study. Acta Med Port [Internet]. 2021 Nov. 2 [cited 2024 Feb. 22];34(11):724-32. Available from: https://actamedicaportuguesa.com/revista/index.php/amp/article/view/14004

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Original