Stress urinary incontinence during squats in women Stress urinary incontinence during squats in women

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Thread: Stress urinary incontinence during squats in women

  1. #1
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    Default Stress urinary incontinence during squats in women

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    Okay guys, I learned something extremely useful today that should be of interest to the women on this forum. Stress urinary incontinence is an extremely common problem during squats and deadlifts, and it's annoying both during training as well as potentially humiliating during a meet. You see it in the logs around here all the time.

    So here is my discovery. I did some digging around Google Scholar and found out that the problem is actually fairly well studied in female athletes. There are two approaches to treating it. First, pelvic floor exercises (Kegels). That's the slow but "right" way to correct the issue. The second, much quicker solution is to use a mechanical device to apply pressure on your urethra from inside your vag--there are some that are specifically made for this purpose, called pessaries. Some refs:

    http://europepmc.org/abstract/MED/77...cG4radG1GDe.12

    http://www.aafp.org/afp/2000/0501/p2719.html

    Now, I do not own a pessary, but I do have a menstrual cup. The cup is an alternative to tampons that has a nice advantage of not presenting the danger of Toxic Shock Syndrome, which can kill you. It's a silicone gizmo you can wear even when you are not menstruating. So, I had this thing in on a light day the other day while squatting, and what do you know--not a drop of piss was lost. It worked like a charm, and I thought it might have been a fluke until I looked up pessaries just now. They do basically the same thing, except they are single-purpose devices, whereas menstrual cups are apparently multi-purpose.

    So, my fellow women lifters, this is my good deed for the day. Hope you find this helpful, and if you do, let's spread the word.

  2. #2
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    VERY interesting!

  3. #3
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    P.S. here is the most comprehensive resource I know of that should answer any questions you have about menstrual cups:

    http://www.menstrualcups.org/

    There is a learning curve to using them for their primary purpose, and some useful tricks that aren't in the manuals they come with. But most of the common problems should not be an issue if you are using the cup as a pessary for squatting.

  4. #4
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    Hi Tobo,
    Can you keep us posted and let us know if it works as well on heavy squats. That's usually the only time I have issues with peeing my pants.

  5. #5
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    Aleli, it's only ever happened on max effort squats for me, too, but all of my squats are heavy for me--I am not very strong and have a crappy back so it takes all of my concentration to stay tight. It's especially likely to happen when I am worried about screwing my back up (when I expect the intraabdominal pressure is especially high). It's also not at all correlated with whether my bladder is full--I pee right before squatting, and squirts still sometimes happen. I don't exactly mop the gym up with my pee or anything, but it's annoying enough that I've given this some thought now.

    Anyway, it's worked for me, and it should theoretically work for any woman who has a relatively mild problem with this, which I do. It might not work for someone who has something more serious, e.g., tissue tears during childbirth that required surgical repair. But the investment of time and effort here is minimal--a cup costs $20-$30 bucks at most, and they last for years and practically pay for themselves if you use them for their intended purpose. This is just an interesting side effect I discovered--I can't possibly know if it will work for others, but the anatomical principle on which a pessary works should extend to others who have standard female anatomy.

  6. #6
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    It sounds like we have similar problems. I just wasn't sure because you said you had tried it on a light day.

    This is very valuable information, Thank you!

    Also, I beg to differ on you not being strong, I see some great work being done in your log!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aleli View Post
    It sounds like we have similar problems. I just wasn't sure because you said you had tried it on a light day.

    This is very valuable information, Thank you!

    Also, I beg to differ on you not being strong, I see some great work being done in your log!

    Oh sorry, I meant a light *bleeding* day. The squats were heavy :-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by JC View Post
    Would this work for jogging and running too, or would the bouncing about mess it all up?
    It won't matter--jogging, jumping, running should all work with the cup. That thing is kind of vacuumed in.

    It's relevant for Crossfitters, I suppose, because double unders cause squirting too.

  9. #9
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    TMI warning!

    I use a cup. It doesn't work as a pessary for me. almost makes it worse (pushes on my bladder from the inside). It is impossible for the thing to fall out though.

  10. #10
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    starting strength coach development program
    Aha, interesting. We have an N of 2 now!

    It's definitely cannot fly outta there like, say, a tampon... Too bad it doesn't work for you--maybe it has something to do with anatomical differences in the position of the bladder or uterus. Definitely something to try out on a dry run before a meet.

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