Prevalence of Pelvic Floor Disorders in Female Crossfit Athletes
IUGA Academy. High R. Jun 30, 2018; 212922; 326 Topic: Stress Incontinence
Ms. Rachel High
Ms. Rachel High

Access to Premium content is currently a membership benefit.

Click here to join IUGA or renew your membership.

Discussion Forum (0)
Rate & Comment (0)


Prevalence of pelvic floor disorders in female crossfit athletes

High, R1; Thai, K1; Virani, H2; Malek, M1; Kuehl, T1; Danford, J1

1: Baylor Scott and White; 2: Texas A & M University of Health Sciences

Introduction:Pelvicfloor disorders (PFD), which include urge urinary incontinence(UUI), stress urinary incontinence (SUI), fecal incontinence(FI), and pelvicorganprolapse (POP) are highly prevalent. 25% of women in the United States report at least one PFD symptom. FI is reported in 9.4% of the population, and POP symptoms in 2.9%. Urinary incontinence (SUI and UUI) is the most common of these disorders, with a prevalence of 17% in the general population.The prevalence of stress urinary incontinence (SUI)has been estimated to be higher in female athletes(28-80%), especially in those who participate in high impact activities or long-strenuous workouts.Crossfitis a branded fitness regimen trademark ofCrossfit, Inc.,knownfor its focus on high-intensity workouts that build strength and endurance. Workouts incorporate elements from weightlifting, plyometrics, powerlifting, gymnastics, and other exercises. There is no published evidence describing the prevalence of pelvic floor disorders in femaleCrossfitparticipants. This is thelargeststudyincluding only high-impact intensity female athletesof all ages.

Objective:To determine the prevalence of pelvic floor disorders (SUI, UUI, FI, POP) by symptoms reported in a population of female Crossfit athletes.

Methods:A 27-question anonymous survey was created in SurveyMonkey and distributed electronically by email toofficialCrossFitaffiliated gymsand by Facebookposts or messages tofemaleCrossfitinterest groups.This survey wasdistributedby the gym owners by their own discretion, thus the exact number of women who had access to the survey is unknown.Raffle entry foran Apple iPad Mini 4was incentive for participants who completed the survey.Survey questionsgathered baseline information, details of workout durations andintensity. Questionsadapted from validated questionnaires (Pelvic Floor Distress Inventory, Urogenital Distress Inventory, International Consultation on IncontinenceQuestionnaire) inquired about symptoms that may occur for the participant at any time of the day.Response of “yes” to “loss of stool you cannot control” qualified as fecal incontinence. Response of “yes” to “feeling a vaginal bulge/something coming out of the vagina” were positive for prolapse symptoms. Responsesof 'moderate, or quiteabit' for degree ofbother from symptoms of UUI or SUI wouldclassifyrespondentsas having UUI or SUI.

Results: 301 surveys were completed by women of mean age 36±10, and mean BMI 25.2±4.3.43% reported at least 1 vaginal delivery, 13.7% reported at least 1 cesarean section. 91% of respondents had participated inCrossfitworkouts at minimum 3times per week.POP showed a prevalence of 3.0%. 5.6% reported fecal incontinence (loss of stool beyond their control). Bothersome UUI was reported in 16.9%(51/301). Bothersome SUI was reported in 18.7%(50/301). Bothersome urinary incontinence occurring minimum twice a week to multiple times daily occurred in 10.0% (30/301) women.

Conclusion: The prevalence PFD in female Crossfit athletes performing high intensity exercises several times weekly is similar to that of the general population.


Work supported by industry: no.

Code of conduct/disclaimer available in General Terms & Conditions

By clicking “Accept Terms & all Cookies” or by continuing to browse, you agree to the storing of third-party cookies on your device to enhance your user experience and agree to the user terms and conditions of this learning management system (LMS).

Cookie Settings
Accept Terms & all Cookies