Women’s Gymnasts Often Affected by Incontinence

Gabby Douglas. Aly Raisman. Jordan Wieber. By now, you know each and every one of the US Women’s Gymnastics team members by name, don’t you? Behind each of these truly incredible female athletes (I hope!) is a team of health professionals making sure that they get all of the necessary treatments in order to keep their bodies healthy from head to toe. When I say I hope, I mean that I hope their pelvic health isn’t being overlooked, amidst all other potential concerns.

One wouldn’t necessarily associate teens with incontinence, but those that train heavily in high impact and intensity sports such as gymnastics, trampoline, and basketball are particularly at risk. A 2001 study found that 41% of elite female athletes reported stress urinary incontinence at some point during their daily activities and/or sport and 67% of female gymnasts had some loss of urine during their daily activities.

I’ve treated many teen athletes in pelvic floor physical therapy and based on their feedback, it literally changes their lives. Women’s ACTION Initiative and our awareness project Share MayFlowers are dedicated to getting supporting honest and open dialogue about these issues and letting everyone know that there’s help. Please contact me if you have any questions (or comment below!) or click here to make an individual or corporate donation in any amount to our nonprofit programs dedicated to promoting women’s pelvic health. Every little bit goes a long way to improving the quality of live for women in the US and around the world.

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