Why runners need to talk about pelvic floor health - Women's Running

Why runners need to talk about pelvic floor health

Author: Women's Running Magazine

Read Time:   |  May 23, 2022

1 in 3 of us will experience stress urinary incontinence when exercising – yet we don't often talk about it. We find out how to manage those little leaks without having to abandon our trusty trainers

While it’s not a subject we often shout about, as many as one in two women will experience some form of urinary leaking in their lifetime. One in three of us experience Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) – those leaks that happen when we do something that puts sudden pressure on our pelvic floor muscles and bladders. And, with those stats in mind, quite a few of us are probably already aware that one of those pressure-creating activities is running. A recent study of 230 athletes aged 19-40 found that 58% had SUI, with runners carrying the highest prevalence.

But it’s not all bad news. Pelvic floor training can help many of us, allowing us to gradually rebuild or increase strength. But in the mean time, we don’t have to hang up our trusty trainers – or resort to more drastic steps, such as surgery. Intravaginal devices are an ideal solution, and have come a long way in recent years, becoming more comfortable, less messy and much more environmentally friendly.

“Many of my more active patients are eager to consider a non-surgical approach for managing leaking during workouts, but traditional pessaries felt bulky and uncomfortable,” says women’s urology nurse practitioner Brooke Faught. She recommends uresta to her patients, which a self-managed bladder support. “It offers an easy, comfortable and highly effective method for managing stress incontinence. Its design stops leaks, rather than absorbing them,” she explains.

We firmly believe in taking the taboo out of talking about women’s health issues, so we asked uresta for the low-down on their bladder support.

“uresta is a modern take on traditional pessaries, and was created to be a first-line management option for SUI that’s self-managed and simple to use,” they explain. “Once inserted, the bell shape of uresta works with your body to physically support the urethra, which reduces or stops the leaks happening in the first place.” A little bit like a tampon, it has a narrow tip and a handle, making it easy to insert and remove.“Unlike disposable options, uresta is reusable, not only reducing landfill waste but also saving money with long-term use. It’s also simple to clean, and can be carried easily in its compact storage egg, though it is also suitable to be worn all day long if you would prefer.”

uresta also offer both recorded and live webinars, hoping to help as many women as possible take control of their pelvic floor health, as well as plenty of how-tos on their website on everything from fitting to finding the right size for you. NHS patients can also save £40 when using the discount code iMEDUresta – visit uresta.uk or mypelvichealth.co.uk to find out more.



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NMA’s 2020 Lifestyle Magazine of the Year, Women’s Running provides expert advice on gear and training, motivation from your favourite runners and the latest running news.

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