Prevalence of Urinary Incontinence in Female CrossFit Athletes: A Systematic Review with Meta-Analysis - Beyond the Abstract

Studies on the prevalence of urinary incontinence (UI) among CrossFit practitioners are on the rise. This systematic review with meta-analysis was aimed at determining the prevalence of UI among CrossFit practitioners.


A systematic review of the literature was performed by searching Medline/PubMed, Scopus, and SportDiscus through January 2021. The search strategy included the keywords CrossFit, urine incontinence, exercise, high impact, and pelvic floor dysfunction. The inclusion criterion was any study with a sample of CrossFit practitioners and results separated from the other modalities analyzed. The subjects were women with no restriction of age, parity, experience, or frequency of training. Quality assessment of the studies included was conducted using the Oxford Centre of Evidence-Based Medicine scale and the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale (Nos) adapted for cross-sectional studies.

Thirteen studies (6 comparative and 7 non-comparative) were included in the systematic review, all using a cross-sectional design. The level of evidence was 4, with their quality ranging from poor (n=10) to fair (n=3). A total of 4,823 women aged 18 to 71 were included, 91.0% participated in CrossFit, and 1,637 presented UI, which indicates a prevalence of 44.5%. Also, 55.3% and 40.7% presented mild or moderate UI respectively. Stress UI was the most common type reported (81.2%).

The factors that increased the likelihood of UI were age, body mass index, and parity. Exercises based on jumps were commonly associated with urine leakage. CrossFit practitioners presented higher UI than control groups.

Written by: Eladio Dominguez-Antuña, José Carlos Diz, David Suárez-Iglesias, Carlos Ayán

Dark Lion Sport Management, Siero, Asturias, Spain., Unidad de Cuidados Intensivos, Hospital Álvaro Cunqueiro, Vigo, Pontevedra, Spain., VALFIS Research Group, Institute of Biomedicine (IBIOMED), Faculty of Physical Activity and Sports Sciences, University of León, León, Spain., Departamento de Didácticas Especiais, Universidade de Vigo, Well-Move Research Group, Galicia Sur Health Research Institute (IIS Galicia Sur), SERGAS-UVIGO, Pontevedra, Spain.

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