This is my first post. I am 52 and have been running for the last 1.5 years. I'm gearing up for my first half marathon in May. I need help! Do any of you ladies (or possibly men) have any advice on how to handle the stress incontinence that comes with running as we get older? I have tried pads, but they usually are not enough. I went to Depends-like protection, but the chafing after 8-9 miles was awful. Any advice will be most appreciated.
I use pads and for the most part they seem to work ok. I'm training for a 1/2 marathon and so far with a few exceptions I've not had any issues with chaffing. I'm sure to use the restroom just before I go out. I use longs too which help. Good luck. If it weren't for pads, I wouldn't be running!
THANK YOU for posting this. I have been stewing over this issue, but a little shy to post. I'm 43 and have a little mixed-type incontinence. I find that my stress-related leaking isn't too bad when I'm just running straight ahead--but if I sneeze or cough when I'm running, all bets are off. If I make sure to empty my bladder before I run, I don't have too much trouble. What I find works better for me than a pad, since it's just a tiny amount at a time, is to make sure I have wicking, quick dry underwear and pants. My addidas running pants that I wear most of the time are very lightweight, loose fitting, and have a nice mesh panel in the crotch, which allows good ventilation.
What gives me a little more trouble is the urge incontinence. Even if I have emptied my bladder pretty recently, once my body decides to go, I have a very hard time stopping it. On one occasion, after I completed a run and was doing my cool-down, I ended up essentially emptying my bladder. Once it started just a little, I just couldn't stop it. Now, this was a 30 minute run, and I had emptied my bladder before the run, so it wasn't a deluge, but mortifyingly embarrassing nonetheless. Luckily, I was alone and close to home. But I live in fear that this will happen to me during a race.
I am brand new to running (completed Couch to 5K April 30th), so I'm not sure how I would do taking a bladder medication while running. I have taken something on occasion in the past, usually while traveling. I'm concerned that the anticholinergic side effects--dry mouth, decreased sweating, increased heart rate--will be a problem when I run. I am not yet very fit, so the little things matter a lot. I have my first race--ever--coming up this weekend and I'm torn whether to try the med before my run. Anyone have any experience with starting Ditropan (oxybutynin), Detrol, or the like?
Diane, there is a device (available with a prescription, I believe) that essentially occludes the urethra that can be used episodically for specific problematic events. My husband is a gynecologist, and I don't think he has ever used them for a patient; I am a family doc and I've never recommended them, but I have read about them. Although it sounds a little frightening, they are reputed to work very well. You would probably have time to try it on a long run before your half-marathon. You might ask your regular doc to recommend a good urogynecologist in your area. I also believe that in this age of amazing polymers, there must be some low-profile, highly absorbent pad out there that might work better for you. I have a friend who works with medical supplies. She is away this week, but when she returns, I'll ask what she would recommend.
I may not be good, but I'm slow!
Good post!! I'm 53 and I'm probably the only guy that will respond but the bladder control issue does really make some of those races and long runs uncomfortable at times that's for sure!! You need to stay hydrated but when you do you end up having to go and go and gooooooo!! YIKES!! For me it's getting better the longer I run as my physical fitness and conditioning improves the less stress my body goes through especially early in my races and runs. But I still have to deal with it to some degree. The only really good solution I've come up with is NEVER wear gray running shorts, black works great.... hope like heck that people watching your races just think your sweating and they shouldn't be looking at your crotch anyway and lastly accept that fact that you may have to stop in the woods ( much easier for us men!) or in a porta john along the way during a long run or race. Good luck and good post!!
Quote from Bob Moawad " You can't make footprints in the sands of time if you are sitting on your butt. And who wants to make buttprints in the sands of time"
2008 - Grandma's marathon - 4:51 2011 - Get in Gear 1/2 marathon - 1:46
2009 - Get in Gear 1/2 marathon - 1:49 2011 - Green Bay marathon - 3:51
2009 - Grandma's marathon - 4:13 2011 - Grandma's marathon - 3:45
2009 - Twin Cities marathon - 4:02 2011 - Minneapolis Pride 5k - 21:31
2010 - Grandma's marathon - 3:58 ya hoo!
2010 - Twin Cities marathhon - 3:55
I, to, find that the longer I run the less of an issue it is with me but I use Poise pads. I used to use regular pads, just because they aren't as embarrasing to buy but did find the nerve to pick up a pack of the incontience type pads and will use them from now on. Good luck and happy running.
Ham Jam Hog Wild Run 5K - April 16, 2011....................37.32
State Games of MS Cross Country 5K - June 4, 2011......39.03
Slow Poke 5K - August 13, 2011....................................37.17
Rush Run For Your Heart - September 24, 2011...............37.39
Homecoming 5K - October 8, 2011.................................
Run For Home 10K - November 12, 2011.........................
Jingle Bell Run 5K - December 3, 2011............................
It's very hard in the beginning to understand that the whole idea is not to beat the other runners. Eventually you learn that the competition is against the little voice inside you that wants you to quit. ~George Sheehan
Hi Diane ......After two 81/2 lb babies I too have had my bladder woes! Like Slowskinnyrunner, it seems to be so much better since I started C25K....in the past, "poise" pads seemed to work well! My sister had a surgical procedure done for this problem but I suppose that would be a last resort! Good luck! I love this site!!!! It is so encouraging to hear people in my age group (55) talk about anything....like bladder control....I am in W5 of C25K, never ran in my life but feeling pretty good!