Oh, Shelly. How I relate!
My daughter joked one day years ago that she was going to make me a shirt that said, "I probably have to pee". She said that because I am always going to the restroom. She also says that I must have a bladder the size of a thimble. She's right on both counts.
It is also a known fact in the CrossFit world that women will often involuntarily urinate when jumping rope or lifting really heavy weight. I do both. Sorry if you were unaware of that and if I have now offended you or grossed you out. You might want to stop reading now.
A study conducted by the University of Insubria in Varese, Italy looked at almost 700 female athletes with an average age of 36 and found that 15% suffered stress incontinence. Most reported having leakage when jumping, doing abdominal exercises and jogging. 30% either stopped playing their sport or changed the way they played their sport because of this.
I don't want to change my sport! I want to lift, run and jump without having to think about not peeing my pants!
I would also love to not be in the chronic hunt for a bathroom NOW because my bladder decides it has had enough.
All that said, I drink a TON of liquids and am highly caffeinated at any given moment. Both of which produce a need for frequent urination. But lately I have been wondering if what I experience is normal or if it is time to have the Detrol Discussion with my doctor.
As a service to all athletic women, here is my research and self study.
Via Mayo Clinic-
Urinary incontinence is the unintentional loss of urine. Stress incontinence happens when physical movement or activity — such as coughing, sneezing, running or heavy lifting — puts pressure (stress) on your bladder. Stress incontinence is not related to psychological stress.
If you have stress incontinence, you may experience urine leakage when you:
- Stand up
- Get out of a car
- Lift something heavy
- Have sex
Overactive Bladder Syndrome
Via Mayo Clinic-
Overactive bladder is a problem with bladder-storage function that causes a sudden urge to urinate. The urge may be difficult to stop, and overactive bladder may lead to the involuntary loss of urine (incontinence).
If you have OBS, you may have the following symptoms:
- Feel a sudden urge to urinate that's difficult to control
- Experience urge incontinence — the involuntary loss of urine immediately following an urgent need to urinate
- Urinate frequently, usually eight or more times in 24 hours
- Awaken two or more times in the night to urinate (nocturia)
Hmmmm.. Definitely experience SI when I'm doing double unders or cleaning heavy. And yes to some symptoms of OBS.
To help decide if I have a problem, I tracked how often I had to potty throughout the day. I also tracked my liquid intake for comparison.
Here is a day in the life of Angie. Don't judge. I know I have a caffeine problem and I don't care.
I had to go to the bathroom 12 times. That is definitely fitting the criteria for OBS.
I drank over 200 ounces of liquid. Ummm...that's gotta go somewhere!
That is a fairly normal day for me drinking wise. I'm always thirsty and my mouth is always dry. And it's always been that way. J's mom asked me if I was diabetic when we met because I drank so much! I'm now pretty sure I don't have SI or OBS so much as that I just drink a FREAKIN' LOT and I'm kind of small person so my bladder is probably fairly small.
But now I wonder why I drink so much? Is this normal? Do you drink over a gallon and a half of liquid each day?
I have an annual physical coming up so I will be bringing all this data with me to maybe get some answers. In the meantime, I'll ponder the Mayo Clinic at home treatment options....
Kegal exercises- OK!
Healthy weight- Check!
Decrease fluid consumption- eh.....
Decrease caffeine consumption- yeah, yeah, yeah...
Double voiding- um??? I'm already in the bathroom a lot???
Scheduled bathroom trips- That reminds me of my grandma...
Intermittent catheterization- Aw, hell no!
Absorbent pads- Only for double unders!
Bladder training- Well, if that goes anything like my puppy training skills I'm screwed.
Stay Strong Y'all!