Prevalence and severity of urinary incontinence among male and female competitors and recreational CrossFit® practitioners

Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2022 Sep:276:144-147. doi: 10.1016/j.ejogrb.2022.07.014. Epub 2022 Jul 22.


Objective: This study aimed to determine the prevalence, severity and type of urinary incontinence (UI) in female and male CrossFit® practitioners.

Study design: The study design is an online cross-sectional survey distributed to CrossFit® practitioners across all Spanish regions. The questionnaire included categorical questions related to CrossFit® practice, multiple-choice questions to determine the exercises performed during reported UI symptoms, and The International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire Short-Form questionnaire items.

Results: Five hundred seventy-one practitioners (34.0 ± 8.37 years, Body Mass Index 24.20 ± 3.34 kg/m2) met inclusion criteria and completed the survey. There were and 316 females and 255 males. Around 45 % of women and 6 % of men reported having UI (p < 0.001). The severity of UI mainly was slight (30.3 % women, 3.5 % men) and moderate (11.7 % women, 2.3 % men) (p < 0.001). Stress and urgent UI were the most prevalent types among women (36 %) and men (5 %) (p < 0.001).

Conclusions: This study found that UI is relatively common among female CrossFit® practitioners, especially in repetitive jumps. The practitioners' profile (amateur/competitor) does not affect the prevalence or severity of UI. Male athletes can also experience urine leakage while performing CrossFit®, although its prevalence is much lower when compared to female practitioners.

Keywords: Fitness; High-intensity functional training; Pelvic floor; Stress incontinence; Women's health.

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Urinary Incontinence* / epidemiology