Prevalence of Stress Urinary Incontinence in Elite Female Endurance Athletes

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Anna Poswiata, Teresa Socha, Jozef Opara

The goal of the study was to assess the prevalence of stress urinary incontinence in a group of elite female endurance athletes, as professional sport is one of the risk factors for stress urinary incontinence. SUI rates in the groups of female cross-country skiers and runners were compared to determine whether the training weather conditions like temperature and humidity influenced the prevalence of urinary incontinence. An anonymous questionnaire was distributed among 112 elite female athletes ie., 57 cross-country skiers and 55 runners. We used a short form of the Urogenital Distress Inventory (UDI-6) to assess the presence of SUI symptoms and the level of urogenital distress. Only women who had been practicing sport professionally for at least 3 years, on an international and national level, were included in the research. The study group consisted of 76% nulliparous and 24% parous women. 45.54% of all participants reported leakage of urine associated with sneezing or coughing which indicates stress urinary incontinence. 29.46% were not bothered by the urogenital distress symptoms. 42.86% of the participants were slightly bothered by the symptoms, 18.75% were moderately bothered, 8.04% were significantly bothered and 0.89% were heavily bothered. The absence of statistically significant differences between both groups seems to indicate that training weather conditions did not influence the prevalence of SUI in elite female endurance athletes.
DOI: 10.2478/hukin-2014-0114
Key words
stress urinary incontinence, female endurance athletes, prevalence

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