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Digital Subscriptions > Women’s Running > Winter 2018 > SQUEEZE AND LIFT!

SQUEEZE AND LIFT!

MANY WOMEN SUFFER FROM STRESS URINARY INCONTINENCE (SUI), BUT FEW DISCUSS IT. LISA JACKSON SHOWS YOU HOW, THROUGH THE RIGHT TREATMENT AND WITH REGULAR DAILY PRACTISE, YOU CAN STRENGTHEN YOUR PELVIC FLOOR AND BECOME A STRONGER, MORE CONFIDENT RUNNER

When my aunt and I used to train for marathons in central London our route wasn’t based on the sights we were likely to see, but on the availability of places to pee. Having never experienced stress urinary incontinence (SUI) myself, I didn’t realise back then just how common it is. An estimated 30 per cent of women worldwide have SUI and many feel so embarrassed about the condition that they avoid exercising altogether, despite the fact that about 45 per cent of elite athletes, including runners and triathletes, accidentally leak urine during sporting activities.

“Two thirds of the women suffering from SUI are undiagnosed”, says Steve Foley, consultant urologist at the Royal Berkshire NHS Trust, Reading.

“This is a real shame as the condition can have a significant impact on daily life, relationships and emotional wellbeing.” SUI is caused by having a weak pelvic floor, which prevents your urethra from closing fully when sudden pressure is put on your bladder. This can allow urine to leak out when you cough, laugh, exercise, walk or run. While women are more likely to be affected by SUI than men, men can still experience SUI if they are having prostate problems.

“The most common causes of stress incontinence among women are pregnancy and childbirth, because both stretch and weaken their bladder’s sphincter muscles and their pelvic-floor muscles”, says Foley.

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The Winter issue of Women's Running is now available to download!