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Does excessive sport cause urinary incontinence? – Health and medicine

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Obviously, physical exercise is important because it strengthens the muscles of the body and, in particular, the pelvic floor, in addition to reducing the risk of being overweight, that is, by reducing the likelihood of obesity, it helps reduce the risk of stress incontinence.

However, excessive exercise, especially exercise that significantly increases abdominal pressure and puts too much pressure on the pelvic floor, can damage ligaments and fascia that are important for the integrity of the perineum.

Sports such as weightlifting, cross-fit, so popular, or certain martial arts such as kickboxing can create strong abdominal efforts so high that they put pressure on the bladder and can tear the ligaments of the pelvic floor, in particular the pubourethral ligament, resulting in urethral hypermobility and consequent stress urinary incontinence.

It is a case of saying that sport, in excess, is not healthy.

To better understand this relationship, it is important to know the types of urinary incontinence that exist and their causes.

an important symptom

Involuntary loss of urine is a symptom that defines a public health problem with appreciable social and economic impact. In the presence of this symptom, you should consult a doctor.

In women, urinary incontinence (UI) exists at any age, but its prevalence increases gradually with age, reaching 30 to 50% in the elderly.

User interface types:

– Urge urinary incontinence – loss of urine accompanied or immediately preceded by a sudden or urgent urge to urinate.

– Stress urinary incontinence – stress-related loss of urine, without feeling like you have to urinate or a full bladder.

– Mixed urinary incontinence – incontinence that combines the two above.

Causes and Treatments

To arrive at the diagnosis of urinary incontinence, the clinical history and general observation of the patient are essential.

The respective causes and treatments of the various urinary incontinences are different.

Urge urinary incontinence occurs as a result of involuntary bladder contractions or a decrease in normal bladder capacity.

In urge incontinence, certain lifestyle changes are indicated, such as scheduled urination and control of fluid intake. Pharmacological treatment of this type of urinary incontinence is a good therapeutic option. As for the surgery, it also consists of a minimally invasive technique, which consists of the administration of botulinum toxin on an outpatient basis and with simple local anesthesia or sedation.

In stress incontinence, the defect can be caused by an insufficiency of the sphincter (the muscle which surrounds the urethra and whose contraction closes it), or by changes in the muscles and ligaments of the pelvic floor, including the integrity is important for the support and stability of the urethra.

The risk factors for this incontinence are the atrophic changes in the vagina and urethra very common in postmenopausal women, this phenomenon is, to some extent, a natural consequence of aging.

However, several factors contribute to aggravate it, such as overweight and obesity, birth trauma, pelvic surgeries or accidents, chronic constipation, smoking and a family history of urinary incontinence revealing an unfavorable genetic heritage.

In mild stress urinary incontinence, one can initially choose treatment with exercises that strengthen the pelvic muscles, i.e. pelvic floor physiotherapy.

However, the treatment of choice remains surgery. These techniques are very effective (about 90% cure), with a low rate of complications, and consist of placing strips of synthetic material under the urethra, with a small incision, one to two centimeters, in the vaginal wall. This type of intervention is generally carried out on an outpatient basis, that is to say that the patient is discharged on the day of the surgery. Recovery is rapid and within a few days the patient can resume normal activity.

Obviously, an early diagnosis is essential to the therapeutic success of urinary incontinence.

An article by doctor Frederico Ferronha, urologist at CUF Hospital – CUF Descobertas, CUF Mafra Clinic, CUF Sintra Hospital and CUF Torres Vedras Hospital.

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