Runners: Lose the Leak!


Waylaid from exercise by having to stop to pee too often?



Don’t bother going out to run for fear that you will wet on yourself?



Have you had to give up the thing that you love because you leak when you run?


You are totally not alone.  Research shows that 1 in 3 women leak a little with activity.  Healthy, young and active women leak.  And it doesn’t have to be this way!  You can lose the leak.  Read on and get back to running with confidence.

Despite the TV commercials encouraging you to address your issue with  medications or to use a pretty pad, there is much more you can do than to settle for dry mouth or diapers for the rest of your life.  Your first step is to understand what is happening.  The next step is to take action to get back to what you enjoy.

Incontinence, the involuntary loss of urine, happens to over 25 million women in the United States alone. Many of these women are under 30 years old and have never had children.  A study on young girls and incontinence finds 20% of otherwise healthy young girls are giving up on exercise because they pee a little when they run.1,2 Or jump. Or laugh.  This is not OK and it’s frustrating for the person, and for the pelvic health therapists who KNOW that we can make a difference in your lives.

Who leaks? Not just old or pregnant people!  One study asked 291 elite women athletes and dancers about if they leak and 51.9% said yes.1 And not just during training or competition.  Another study found that 20% of young women stop exercising because of leakage.2 Interestingly, a study of healthy fitness instructors also found 26% experience urinary incontinence.3

So what can be done?  The first thing that needs to be established, is what type of incontinence do you have?  The treatment for stress incontinence is different and urinary urgency or urge incontinence.  Some people have both!!  Now what??  Kegels may help (if you’re doing them right), but they might not!  A skilled Women’s Health Physical Therapist can help you learn what you need to do.  You may not need any exercises at all!!


  1. Thyssen et al. Urinary incontinence in Elite Female Athletes and Dancers. Int Urogynecol J (2002) 13:15-17.
  2. Nygaard I et al.  Exercise and Incontinence. Obstet Gynecol 1990; 75:848-851.
  3. Bo K, Bratland-Sanda S, Sundgot-Borgen J. Urinary incontinence among group fitness instructors including yoga and Pilates teachers. Neurourol Urodyn 2011;30:370-373.