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Urinary incontinence in elite female athletes and dancers.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Glostrup County Hospital, University of Copenhagen, Glostrup, Denmark.


The aim of this study was, to determine the frequency of urinary loss in elite women athletes and dancers. Elite athletes in eight different sports, including ballet, filled in an evaluated questionnaire about urinary incontinence while participating in their sport/dancing and during daily life activities. A total of 291 women with a mean age of 22.8 years completed the questionnaire, providing a response rate of 73.9%. Overall, 151 women (51.9%) had experienced urine loss, 125 (43%) while participating in their sport and 123 (42%) during daily life. The proportion of urinary leakage in the different sports was: gymnastics 56%, ballet 43%, aerobics 40%, badminton 31%, volleyball 30%, athletics 25%, handball 21% and basketball 17%. During sport 44% had experienced leakage a few times, 46.4% now and then, and 9.6% frequently. During daily life the figures were: 61.7% a few times, 37.4% now and then, and 0.8% frequently. Of those who leaked during sport, 95.2% experienced urine loss while training versus only 51.2% during competition (P<0.001). The activity most likely to provoke leakage was jumping. Sixty per cent (91/151) occasionally wore pads or panty shields because of urine loss. Urinary leakage is common among elite athletes and dancers, particularly during training, but also during daily life activities.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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