Most women, at some point in their lives have experienced urine leakage while running, but never talk about it and more often than not, this is due to weaker bladder muscles. Exercising should be enjoyable and not uncomfortable and there are a number of things you can do to effectively manage and in many cases improve the problem.
- Before you run make sure you have gone to the toilet.
- If you are running a long-distance check that there is a toilet stop on your route as you may need to drink more in order to stay hydrated which may result in the need to use the toilet more frequently.
- Try using an incontinence pad. Many of the continence pads available today are slim and discreet.
- Squeeze your pelvic floor muscles when running to minimise leakage.
It is estimated that between three to six million people in England experience urinary incontinence. Urinary continence is the passing of urine unintentionally. There are several types of urinary incontinence – you can find out more about them here.
Urinary continence arises for a number of reasons; pregnancy can cause temporary or longer term continence problems and women of menopausal age often experience bladder weakness. Urinary incontinence is a common problem that many people face and you should not feel in any way embarrassed to talk to anyone about your symptoms.
How to improve your Pelvic floor muscles
You may also like to consider doing some pelvic floor exercises which can help. The pelvic floor is made up of layers of muscles and ligaments that move from the pubic bone to the coccyx, side to side. Strong pelvic muscles support the bladder, womb and bowel. To strengthen the muscles, regular exercise is advised to support and improve bladder control and urine leakage. The more you exercise the stronger your pelvic floor muscles will be.
Here are some exercises for you to try:
- Slowly tighten your pelvic floor, lifting the muscles in and out.
- Continue lifting up through your pelvis and into your tummy.
- Hold it for five seconds, then release gently.
- Slowly increase the length of the hold, then release slowly at the end.
- Tighten and lift your pelvic floor in one quick contraction, squeezing the muscles in and out.
- Take a pause for 10 seconds and breathe slowly.
- Relax fully at the end.
- Repeat as many times as you like with the same speed.
Remember to breathe slowly and gently when doing pelvic floor exercises!
There are also many types of products that can help to improve your Pelvic floor muscles such as Pelvic floor toners like Kegel8 and The PelvicToner.
On the talkhealth site there is lots of practical information on our talkbladder hub and the talkwomenshealth hub. You can also become a member which enables you to talk to others in the patient discussion forums and talk to our clinic experts, and much more. Joining talkhealth is completely FREE!
If you are at all concerned about any aspects of incontinence, you are advised to talk with your doctor who will be able to discuss other treatment options with you if necessary.