Ladies loo problem

A delicate question for the ladies… I always go to the loo immediately before I run, and 99% of the time I have no problems, even on long runs of 20 mile or so. However, just occasionally and for no apparent reason, my shorts get wet without my realising its happening. I don’t want to give up running because of these embarrassing episodes. Does anyone else admit to this problem? How do you cope? I’ve spoken with my GP and he’s referred me for tests but what do I do in the meantime? I don’t want to cut down on my fluid intake as I’m aware of the importance of hydration, but it is tempting.


  • pantliners
    I always wear them when I play hockey - just in case
  • Hello janet! I've had this problem in two of my four races! The first was a total suprise, and fairly minor, the second was worse, I always run in black cyccle shorts,
    and sweat so much that I don't think anyone noticed!! I'd read some advice here to the effect of drinking plenty up until 1 hour before a race, then no more until the start.
    I think it is ok then to drink a reasonable amount literally as you start, because something seems to switch the circuits to "conserve fluid" the moment you start to run.
    Some say energy drinks are better as they hold the fluid in the body, i felt I experienced exactly the opposite, but this possibly because I only drink the energy drinks when about to race. When I'm drinking masses anyway.

    the second time this happened it was pretty alarming, and I had to dive into a gateway, I was really worried about doing my first 1/2m at Bristol, fearing correctly that there wouldn't be many secluded gateways and I couldn't rely on being at the back for privacy!!

    Armed with all the advice, I made sure I drank plenty the day before, and then a reasonable amount the morning of the race up to an hour before, nothing then until the first drinks station, and I was absolutely fine. (My intended last-wee-but-one turned out to be the last as the queue at the loos was so long and slow!)

    My 2nd race in May was race for life, and as the gun went, I shot off in the oposite direction to everyone else to the loo, I was fine then too.

    On training runs, the last thing I ever do is nip to the loo before starting, If I can start a run with an empty bladder, - all is fine, if I start with even a small amount, I'm in trouble. I really can't run and hang on!! I have no bladder problems otherwise at all.

    I'm sorry this is so long-winded, but I really sympathise and hope this helps, it's an embarrassing problem, but hearing forumites discussing their bodily functions sso openly is pretty liberating!!, if yu have trawled around these threads you will count yourself lucky our problem is relatively odour and solid free!!

    I hope there is nothing wrong when you get your tests done,best of luck, Dee.
  • EP I hadn't ever thought of that! personally In my case I know it's happening, just can't do anything about it!!
    Perhaps I AM the only one then aaarggghhhhh!! :-((
  • Something Can Be Done, girls.

    Firstly - pelvic floor exercises. Remember those? Well worth keeping up your acquaintance with them. If you're merrily Kegeling away several times a day and getting nowhere, ask your doc to refer you for pelvic floor physiotherapy, or invest in a set of weighted vaginal cones (which are like weight training for the muscles of your pelvic floor).

    Alternatively, there is a little keyhole op where a sort of tape (tension-free vaginal tape, or TVT) is used to change the angle of the bladder neck. Many urogynaecologists are doing this on the NHS - your GP will, I am sure, refer you if you ask. If the front wall of your vagina is a little floppy from childbirth, this can lead to being slightly leaky and a repair operation done internally can help.

    You're not alone. About three out of every five teenage (yes, TEENAGE) girls will have a bit of stress incontinence sometimes, and it doesn't improve with the passage of time. I'm amazed how many women just put up with it and buy panty liners.

    Cheers, V-rap.
  • Hi VRap,
    I've no excuses like childbirth, but do you think PF excercises would help me "hang on " when I'm running, even though everything is fine when I'm not? although I was fine all the race at Bristol as I stopped I nearly wet my knickers, but it passed then didn't go to the loo until that evening!! Will get some ?kugels? anyway, I'm invited to an Anne Summers Party soon, I think they do them??!!
  • Worth a go, Happyslug!

    EP, one fact that private obstetricians don't always seem to share with their celebrity patients is that pregnancy itself, not just giving birth, can weaken the pelvic floor, and if your caesarean was an emergency one done when you were already in labour then as far as your pelvic floor is concerned you've done the whole shebang. So it's still worth exercising. As your weight comes down, you may find that things improve in the waterworks department too, so there's another incentive.

    It varies hugely, though. I've had one elective C/S (breech baby), one forceps, one precipitate labour and one labour which wasn't precipitate only because the baby's head was in the wrong position, have been very erratic about pelvic floor exercises, and have never had a hint of bladder problems.
  • That's because of who you are, V-rap. I hereby appoint you the RW women's mentor and mascot!
  • I used to get this problem when I was much younger (and fitter!).Pelvic floor excercises did help and I now have no problems at all when running. If youre worried about this- one tip I heard was to tip water over yourself at a drink station , then any dampness will be hidden because you're wet already (no good in cold weather tho...)
  • Thanks for all your comments and good ideas folks! Unfortunately it really isn't sweat. I'll keep up the exercises, try the pantyliners and stop drinking one hour before a run and see how that works. I like Liz's suggestion of pouring water over myself at a drinks station in races too, though with the cold weather coming that might make me go even more!!! Anyway.... I think the exercises are the way forward as prevention has to be the best option. Oh the joys of being female. Thanks again.
  • I have been referred to the physio dept for pelvic floor exercises few years ago (two pregnancies and oncomplicated deliveries of normal sized babies left it all a bit overstreetched, maybe because I am an older mum) Anyway I have noticed that the week before my period I leak, otherwise I am dry. But once I did a race-for-life race and there was a lot of jumping and sudden changes of speed and direction to avoid other people and at the end I was soaked. Black is the best colour to wear (I noticed wet patches in a lady before me who was wearing dark blue)if this happens to you but next time i'll use pantyliner or even a sanitary towel. No need to stop running.
    Pelvic floor exercises will help.
  • No! Don't stop running because of this.

    I forgot to say - and this is really, really important - that running won't make stress incontinence "worse" in the sense of causing more damage to the pelvic floor, whatever your least-favourite auntie may say about her next-door neighbour's third cousin's penpal whose womb fell out when she ran for a bus.
  • V-Rap. Thanks for that info, it really made me giggle as I had heard from my neighbour that her sister-in-law's auntie's friend's womb fell out when she was running for a bus!!!

    But give up running? It would take more than a wet pair of shorts! (I had to stop for six months once after I fell in a cross country run and broke my collarbone in three places. Ouch!)

  • LizzyBLizzyB ✭✭✭
    I was out running this morning (three wee-stops) and thinking - must post forum to see if other women suffer from stress incontience while running. I get back, sit at my pc and there's a whole thread on it that I've completely missed! Actually I''m quite relieved that I'm not the only one to have this problem (and I haven't had kids so I can't blame it on childbirth!)

    The info posted so far is great, and really helpful... my problem is not wee'ing when running but as soon as I stop (crossing roads, opening gates and, er - embarrassingly - opening the front door of our apartment block. ). Sometimes, when I stop running to have a wee en route, it all comes rushing out before I've pulled my shorts down! Lovely ....

    All this only really happens before/during my period and I've been doing pelvic floor exercise for some time but they don't really seem to make any difference. Any suggestions anyone. Those cones sound interesting - I wonder if I can get hold of them out here (in Iceland?)... now that's going to test my Icelandic!!!

    BTW - Stopping running never occurred to me. As Janet Smith said, it would take more than a pair of wet shorts to stop me running!

  • I am so pleased that I am not the only one with this problem. I've written to other forums before with this same weak bladder complaint and had no success with answers. I was beginning to think I was the only one out there with wet pants. Feel loads better now, thankyou.
  • I have been told that before you get your period your pelvic floor is more lax.... blame it on the hormones. I can't think of use for a lax pelvic floor at that time of the cycle.
    Since I have lost weight I notice less leaking, at the same time I run more which makes me toned all over (even the pelvic floor muscles?). I don't know why and how it all happens, but we only have a little tube from the bladder to outside, without any kinks to hold up.
  • ffound the perfect solution.

    I ran in Honiton 12k sunday, got so wet in storm force conditions, it wouldn't have made any difference, in fact it might have warmed me up!!

    My don't drink for an hour before theory worked again though.
  • LizzyBLizzyB ✭✭✭
    Mmm, that´s the surfing solution to being cold isn´t it? - peeing in your wetsuit. A lovely sensation.
  • mmm lovely!

    saw something on a website can't remember which one - it was a runners site - said american women runners recommend learning to pee standing up - just pull shorts out of the way - wonder if they still get wet feet?
    I recommend being at the top of small slope then feet stand a chance!
  • It might be worth popping to your doctor with a urine sample just on the off chance you've got an infection. I had previously thought that all infections would give cystitis type symptons, but no, a desparate urge to go to the loo with no burning could be cured by a course of antibiotics.

    I'm convinced (I hope no men are reading this thread!!) that mine was caused by running in g strings under my lycra leggings. What does everyone else wear underneath?
  • nothing!
  • Big pants
  • underneath leggings- nothing!
  • LizzyBLizzyB ✭✭✭
    Never worn anything under my running tights, never have.

    Mr B says it was this lack of attention to detail that caught his eye the first time he saw me!!!!!!!

    But I´ll check out the cystitis possibiliity Helen A - thanks
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