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Put down the pads & pick up pelvic floor exercises!

Urinary incontinence affects an average of 48% of female athletes under the age of 19, depending on the sport, these numbers can reach as high as 80%!! When we look at female athletes of all ages, these statistics range from 28-80%.


While this is clearly a common problem, known to many female athletes as LBL (light bladder leakage), it is not normal, and it can be treated. The great news is that symptoms can improve in 16 weeks with pelvic floor exercises.


You may think this is a harmless problem lots of women deal with, but it can have some big effects on your life. 45% of women with pelvic floor issues stopped sport due to the problem! It is preventing women from playing sport when it doesn’t have to. It is also found to be socially embarrassing, reduces quality of life, and causes mental health issues.


Talk to your teammates, or your friends, with an average of 48% of female athletes leaking you will not be alone.


Teachers, gym instructors, sports coaches and parents, ask your students and daughters, normalise the topic, and empower women to speak about the topic. Help combat the problem that is preventing girls and women from playing sport and taking part in social events.


Pelvic health therapy involves using exercise and other techniques to manage symptoms and allow you to continue sport with reduced episodes of incontinence. There are many other issues you may experience that we can help with including pelvic organ prolapse, pelvic pain, bowel conditions (such as constipation), sexual pain or dysfunction. Try not to worry if you are nervous, we take these sessions at your pace, and you are always welcome to bring a support person.





Here at Physio HQ, Alex creates a safe space for you to talk about your pelvic health concerns in a non-judgemental, supportive environment, and will help give you the tools you need to manage your symptoms and continue playing sports. Email her directly on alex@physiohq.co.nz, to ask any questions and find out if we can help you!




Rebullido, T. R., C. Gómez-Tomás, A. D. Faigenbaum and I. Chulvi-Medrano (2021). "The Prevalence of Urinary Incontinence among Adolescent Female Athletes: A Systematic Review." Journal of Functional Morphology and Kinesiology 6(1).

Goldstick, O., and Constantina, N. (2013) “Urinary incontinence in physically active women and female athletes”. British Journal of Sports Medicine, May 2013 (0), 1-5

Romero-Franco, N., Molina-Mula, J., Bosch-Donate, E., Casado, A. (2021). “Therapeutic exercise to improve pelvic floor muscle function in a female sporting population: a systematic review and meta-analysis”. Physiotherapy 113: 44-52.

Dakic, J. G., J. Cook, J. Hay-Smith, K.-Y. Lin and H. Frawley (2021). "Pelvic floor disorders stop women exercising: A survey of 4556 symptomatic women." Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport 24(12): 1211-1217.

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