Most of us have a bodily function issue while running. For some it’s snot, for others it’s poop. Then there is sweat, puke, and sometimes blood. But, let’s not forget that one golden fluid…
Many women have confessed that they wet their pants while running. I suppose it can happen to men too. There is a fancy name for this: stress incontinence. For some it is a slow leak, for others it is a gush.
It can also happen while jumping (check out the pants of some moms who get on their kids’ trampoline), coughing and laughing. I spoke to one woman at a party on New Year’s Eve who confessed that tinkling herself while running almost made her give up running completely. Yes, this is what I talk about at parties over martinis.
If you have this problem, know that you are not alone. It is common for women to accidently squirt urine while running, so be content in the fact that you have many pee-soul-sisters out there.
But, why-oh-why, does this happen, and what can be done about it?
Why You Pee While You Run:
- Duh, you have to go.
- Did you have a baby, or two or five? Your pelvic and sphincter muscles might have become stretched out and weak. They can no longer hold back under pressure.
- Are you old? Sometimes these same muscles can weaken with age.
- Are you overweight? Extra body weight can put additional pressure on the bladder causing leaks.
- Oops, you’ve prolapsed! Your bladder can actually tilt out of place, so if you’re having this issue, you might want to talk to Dr. Beaver, your OB/GYN.
- Tired muscles. When you run the muscles around the bladder can weaken, causing you to leak.
- Injury to the urethra. Ouch. Did someone punch you?
- Some medications.
- Excessive alcohol consumption. Remember the guy who peed next to me on the plane? I think this was due to alcohol, not weak sphincter muscles, but I didn’t ask. Hopefully none of us are drinking heavily then running.
Risk Factors That Make It More Likely You Will Pee Yourself (from HERE):
Coughing over a long period of time (such as chronic bronchitis and asthma)
So, basically if you are an older, overweight mom with bronchitis and a love for cigarettes you might be doomed.
How To Minimize or Stop Peeing While You Run:
- Firm up. It’s boring but it works. Do Kegel exercises to strengthen the muscles in your pelvis and sphincter (your husband will also thank you for this for obvious reasons). You can do these while sitting at your desk, while driving a car, while watching a movie, even while reading 50 Shades of Grey. And, no one will even know it! “Hello there man changing my oil! Did you know I’m doing Kegels right now?” Look HERE for as simple explanation of how to do it.
- Make sure you are empty. Pee before you go out. As much as you can. Use this tip to get out every last drop.
- Poop more. This helps avoid constipation which can lead to more pressure on the bladder.
- Wear a pad. Yep, it sucks but it’s absorbent.
- Avoid foods that irritate the bladder like spicy stuff and carbonated beverages.
- Wear dark clothing. In my opinion, runners should always wear dark clothing below their belly buttons. It’s a simple safeguard against getting made fun of for all kinds of reasons.
- Check with your doctor. If you do have a prolapsed bladder you can actually get a device to wear while you run that puts your bladder back into place.
- See if the medication you are taking has side effects that might be causing you to leak.
- In extreme cases, there are medications and surgical interventions available to ease or eliminate symptoms.
- Learn to laugh at yourself. It happens. It just does.
I don’t mean to make light of this issue. I just wanted for those of you who pee their pants (and are not two years old) that it is very common and nothing to be ashamed of.
Have you had problems with peeing on the run? Has anything helped? This is one problem I do not have. I make up for it in other areas.