Women's Running: Health Q&A
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Is it common to have a leaky bladder while running?
Yes. As many as 30 per cent of female runners have experienced urinary incontinence while running. The incontinence that occurs when running is referred to as ‘stress incontinence’, meaning that when stress is applied to the bladder, it leaks. In this case, the stress is the physical exertion of running. Weakened pelvic muscles that surround the bladder and pelvic area are believed to be the cause.
Childbirth, surgery, diabetes, obesity, age and even some medications can lead to muscle weakness. Strengthening the muscles of the pelvic floor using Kegel exercises can help alleviate symptoms. To find the pelvic floor muscles, stop your urine stream while going to the bathroom. Before you get out of bed in the morning, contract the muscles for 10 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, and repeat 10 times. Do the same thing throughout the day.
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