Urinary incontinence in nulliparous sportswomen: epidemiological survey about 150 cases

Prof Sameh GHROUBIa, Dr Samar ALILAa, Dr Wafa ELLEUCHa, Prof Mohamed Habib ELLEUCHa

a Service de Médecine Physique et de Réadaptation, CHU Habib Bourguiba, Sfax, Tunisie, et Unité de recherche de l’évaluation des pathologies de l’appareil locomoteur UR12ES18, université de Sfax

Introduction: Our aim is to assess the urinary incontinence particularly in young nulliparous sportswomen. In our work, we insist on their reluctance about this subject and on the type and level of sport practice.

Methods: A questionnaire was completed by 150 young nulliparous sportswomen. First, it tries to reveal urinary incontinence, to type this incontinence and to have an idea about the knowledge of this trouble. Then, it specifies the type of sport and the level of practice.

Results: Only 105 women agreed to answer this questionnaire. 30% refused to approach the subject of urinary disorders. 75% of women who participated had a Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) whatever in the sport and / or in daily basis. 62.8% stated having SUI, which infrequently interfered with their normal sports activities, whereas 60% declared that they were coping with SUI on a daily basis. These two types of SUI are closely related. Only 18 sportswomen had previously reported the problem to a third party and only one consulted. None of sportswomen reported having an idea about the reason of these disorders or the anatomy and the function of the perineum.

All women practice a competitive sport and the weekly training exceeds in most cases five hours per week. Athletics was at the top of the list (25% of women). Basketball was practiced in 18% of cases, handball in 17% of cases and volleyball in 15% of cases. Only 2.8% of women practiced swimming.

Discussion: The SUI in sport is a major health problem. The prevalence is different from a study to another and depends on the type of sport and the level of practice [1] . However, being frustrated by taboos and considering the troubles as not pathological, only few sportswomen talked openly about this problem. So, health professionals must invest in information, screening and preventive measures. It is their role to provide both of perineal assessment and rehabilitation that would be integrated into fitness programs of sportswomen.

References: [1] R. Lousquy et al, Gynécologie Obstétrique & Fertilité 42 (2014) 597-603

Keywords : urinary incontinence, young sportswomen, type of sport