Students and staff projects 2017: Stress Urinary Incontinence in Female Footballers

Here at Coventry University, our postgraduate students are encouraged to work with staff members in research projects. This is a wonderful opportunity for them to involve in conferences, research clusters and departmental seminars that will provide students with further opportunity to listen and discuss about research. I am very excited to collaborate with one of our postgraduate students (Danai Plevria) as our review about women’s athlete population and stress urinary incontinence will be presented at the XXVI International Conference on Sports Rehabilitation and Traumatology at Camp Nou in Barcelona this May.




Last year, the International Conference on Sports Rehabilitation and Traumatology in London highlighted management techniques and high research about “Return to play”. This year in Barcelona the conference will focus at the “Future of Football Medicine”; past experience and future direction. Women’s health is an important topic in sports rehabilitation. Specifically, stress urinary incontinence has found to lead to withdrawal from participation in athletic activities as it can be considered a barrier for high impact activities and sport participation in women. It is considered that athletes are more incontinent during sports that require running or jumping (e.g. volleyball, handball football, and basketball) which increase the momentum to the dynamic impact of the abdominal viscera on the pelvic floor.



The review the identified the existed exercise interventions to manage stress urinary incontinence to female athletes. The results of the review were promising and concluded that PFM exercises are an efficient and cost-effective tool in treating SUI in athletic female population if thoroughly taught and performed with weekly or monthly follow-up. However, limited trials, surveys or systematic reviews in the female football highlighted gaps and limitations. There is a need for robust RCT’s to measure the effectiveness of pelvic floor muscle strength training in female football. A systematic evaluation is needed to inform the health professionals whether investing at pelvic floor interventions will stop the withdrawal from sport participation.

Glykeria Skamagki, Lecturer in Physiotherapy, Coventry University

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