ISSN: 2544-4395
Physiotherapy Quarterly
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2/2022
vol. 30
 
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abstract:
Original paper

Factors influencing stress urinary incontinence in elite female athletes

Józef A. Opara
1
,
Teresa Socha
2
,
Anna Poświata
3

1.
Department of Physiotherapy in Locomotor Dysfunctions and Sports Medicine, Faculty of Physiotherapy, Academy of Physical Education in Katowice, Katowice, Poland
2.
Department of Individual Sports, Faculty of Physical Education, Academy of Physical Education in Katowice, Katowice, Poland
3.
EGZOTech, Gliwice, Poland
Physiother Quart. 2022;30(2):85–89
Online publish date: 2022/06/01
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Introduction
Practising high-impact sports, especially on a competitive level, has been identified nowadays as one of the risk factors of stress urinary incontinence (SUI). The purpose of our study was to verify the effect of selected factors, like age, parity, the intensity of trainings, achieved sports level, type of discipline, or the duration of sports experience, on SUI symptoms in a group of elite female athletes.

Methods
The study involved 112 elite women athletes: 55 practising running and 57 practising cross-country skiing. A combined questionnaire, which included Urogenital Distress Inventory, Incontinence Impact Questionnaire, King’s Health Questionnaire, and own career development questionnaire, was used as a research tool.

Results
The prevalence of SUI in the studied female elite athletes was high (62.5%). No statistically significant differences regarding SUI symptoms were found between the group of skiers and the group of runners. A relationship between SUI occurrence and childbirth, but not age, was observed. A statistically significant relationship was revealed between the duration of sports practice and SUI occurrence (higher occurrence in the less experienced group). However, SUI occurrence did not correlate with the achieved sports level. A higher subjective assessment of the trainings intensity was correlated with a higher occurrence of SUI symptoms.

Conclusions
The occurrence of SUI in female runners and skiers depends on a history of giving birth, length of practising sports, and training intensity; it does not depend on age or the sports class.

keywords:

stress urinary incontinence, female endurance athletes, running, cross-country skiing

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