More than 40% of women experience urine leakage when exercising, according to a new survey by TENA, the leading experts in urinary incontinence.

More than half of the 500 women who responded to the survey had no idea that exercise can cause bladder weakness, while 76.9% of sufferers said they had never sought professional advice to deal with this issue.

Physiotherapist expert Jane Le Fevre says: “Exercise is in fact a common cause of bladder weakness. Many women do not know or understand this and could be suffering as a result. If you experience bladder leakage when you exercise, don’t ignore it.”

She suggests the following tips to help reduce bladder weakness for women when exercising:

Don’t cut out water

Many people make the mistake of reducing their fluid intake when experiencing light bladder leakage, in the hope it will reduce the urine output and therefore avoid the problem. Unfortunately, this can have the reverse effect as the urine will become more concentrated and this can irritate the bladder lining, thus causing the bladder to want to empty more.

By maintaining a well-balanced diet, you will avoid constipation and other bowel changes that place a load on your pelvic floor.

Find your “pelvic floor”

The pelvic floor runs from your pubic bone at the front of your pelvis to the coccyx at the back. Imagine this sling of muscles is like two elevator doors. As you lift it, imagine the doors closing together and then lifting towards your head. The rest of your body should stay still.


Lift your pelvic floor strongly as you exercise, such as when doing star jumps or shoulder weights and aim to keep it ‘switched on’ throughout the exercise.

Breathe out

If you tend to hold your breath while exercising you will place more pressure on your pelvic floor making it more likely for leaks to occur. Breathe out and lift your pelvic floor instead. If you struggle to do this, then it means the exercise you are doing is too difficult, so decrease the repetitions or reduce the weight.

When running, lift your pelvic floor as you exhale. Do this while you wait to cross the road, too. The more you talk to these muscles and engage them, the more ‘awake’ they are and the stronger they will get.

Check your shoes

The cushioning in running shoes is vital to help reduce the impact on your body and pelvic floor. Older running shoes will lose a lot of this cushioning with wear and tear, so ensure to change your shoes regularly.

Take your time after childbirth

Pregnancy, breastfeeding and associated hormonal changes take their toll on the pelvic floor, as does the physical fatigue. Your pelvic floor needs time to repair, so make a gradual return to exercising.

Use the right product while dealing with the problem

Use a correct liner such as one from the newly launched Lights by TENA range to handle the leakages while you’re dealing with the problem. The liners will keep you drier, fresher and odour free.

For further information on lights by TENA, expert tips and video demonstrations as well an opportunity to receive a complimentary sample liner, visit

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