05/09/2016 11:04 EDT | Updated 05/10/2017 05:12 EDT

The Issue That Many Women Are Dealing With In Silence

Woman needs to pee
grinvalds via Getty Images
Woman needs to pee

After teaching classes for nearly two decades I can tell you with absolute certainty that there is a problem that many women face but seldom talk about or even address; peeing or urgently needing to pee when working out.

During my years of teaching fitness classes and personal training I have witnessed many women quickly leaving a class or training session to run to the bathroom. They feel embarrassed, uncomfortable and as a coach this has always made me feel such empathy.

Many women who train experience this awkward and sometimes painful situation when it comes to performing plyometrics, jump rope training and/or running. As a coach my first priority is to always support my clients and over the years this has been an issue that I've realized needs to be addressed. It's time to talk about it and discuss a solution.

If you have experienced incontinence or pain that impedes your training, perhaps it isn't exclusive to your workouts; I know for many women it isn't isolated to fitness. Perhaps you experience it when you go to sneeze, cough or pick up one of your children.

The good news is with the right treatment and training you don't have to just 'deal with it'.

In the United States, one in three women experience incontinence. In a 2002 study, researchers surveyed 291 elite female athletes competing in a variety of sports (ranging from basketball to ballet). The study addressed their health history of urine loss during participation in their sport or day-to-day activities.

Of that study group, 151 reported leakage of some kind. Of the 151 experiencing issues, only five discussed it with a medical provider, and only six went on to explore pelvic health treatment. Now juxtapose this to athletes with shoulder, knee or ankle injuries?

As a strength coach I can't imagine only five out of my 151 athletes with an ACL tear or ankle sprain seeking treatment. That would just never happen. These are common injuries that people openly discuss.

Bladder control issues also affect young, active women.

This is why we need to open the dialogue, start the conversation and get help for women (and men) who need it. If you are reading this and you do experience incontinence, pain and discomfort, I want to explain and inform you that you don't have to just live with it -- you can most definitely seek treatment with pelvic health physiotherapy.

What Is Pelvic Health Physiotherapy?

Pelvic Health Physiotherapy is a branch of physiotherapy that focuses on the assessment and treatment of any symptoms or conditions that involve the pelvis -- including the muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments, nerves and fascia of the pelvic girdle, low back, and hips. These structures all play a crucial role in providing support for our internal and genital organs. Recent literature has shown that this specialized form of physiotherapy is a non-invasive and effective form of treatment of incontinence, interstitial cystitis and painful bladder syndrome.

What Is The Assessment And Treatment Process?

During assessment and treatment, both internal and external techniques to properly assess and treat the pelvic floor and associated structures. Treatment involves a combination of manual therapy, exercise, education and most importantly biofeedback.

Here Are The Facts You Should Know

• Every woman should be able to experience normal pelvic health regardless of age, number of pregnancies or any other issues.

• As pelvic health therapists we understand that it can be difficult, stressful, and sometimes embarrassing to talk about issues related to your pelvic health. We are here to make sure you are comfortable and to explain everything every step of the way.

• Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy can provide effective treatment for both men and women in all stages of life.

• As many as 45 per cent of women suffer from urinary incontinence and this number tends to increase with age. If you think urinary incontinence only affects older women, think again. Bladder control issues also affect young, active women.

• Biofeedback is the best treatment protocol. It involves using sensors to track muscle contraction. Together with your therapist you can retrain the muscles to work effectively again.

What Conditions Can Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy Treat?

Pelvic Health Physiotherapy can treat, improve, and oftentimes cure the following symptoms or conditions:

• Urgency, or a strong, compelling urge to urinate or defecate that may be difficult to control.

• Nocturia - waking frequently and repeatedly at night to urinate.

• Constipation - difficult passage of hard stools.

• Frequency - having to urinate so frequently that your normal routine is affected.

• Incontinence - leakage of urine or feces that cannot be controlled. Can be situational (during a sneeze or jump rope) or at any time.

• Pelvic Organ Prolapse.

• Dyspareunia - pain within or around the pelvic region without any explanation.

• Painful intercourse.

• Burning sensation in or around the pelvic region.

• Heaviness or pressure in or around the pelvic region.

• Other Peri-Natal, or Post-Partum conditions.

Fortunately at my fitness studio Taylored Training, we have recently launched pelvic health physiotherapy at our in-house clinic. We are taking massive steps to get this issue out in the open for women (and men).

Watching our clients live their lives, enjoy the activities they love to do and train to improve their health and well-being is our passion and the mission of our business. In order to create any change when it comes to pelvic health, like any health issue, we need to talk about it. Discussing these important health issues is key to instigating change. Yes it's an issue that people don't like to talk about, but it most definitely deserves the respect of informing those who suffer from pelvic health issues a chance to seek help.

If you are experiencing symptoms and do require help seek out to find an experienced physiotherapist who is accredited for pelvic health physiotherapy treatment. Because no, you don't have to just 'deal with it' in silence.

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