Women's Health

The Price Of Triathlons On Women: Your Pelvic Floor

Triathlons are no doubt good for lots of things, like merchants of expensive swimwear, bicycles, images-1footwear, and energy drinks, but how good are they really for your body? A new study from researchers at the Loyola University Health System suggests that, for women at least, they may be not so good. A Loyola news release reports that a survey of 311 female triathletes with a median age range of 35-44 revealed that training for triathlons can put women at risk for pelvic-floor disorders, decreased energy, menstrual irregularities and abnormal bone density. Yikes! The study found that 1 in 3 female triathletes suffered from a pelvic-floor disorder such as urinary incontinence, bowel incontinence and pelvic-organ prolapse, and 1 in 4 had one component of the female athlete triad, a condition characterized by decreased energy, menstrual irregularities and abnormal bone density from excessive exercise and inadequate nutrition. Want the drill down? Of those who reported pelvic-floor-disorder symptoms, 16 percent had urgency urinary incontinence, 37.4 percent had stress urinary incontinence, 28 percent had bowel incontinence and 5 percent had pelvic-organ prolapse. Wait there’s more: 22 percent of those surveyed screened positive for problematic eating habits, 24 percent had menstrual irregularities and 29 percent demonstrated abnormal bone strength.

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