I P!$$ My Pants While Riding
READY for some awkward questions?!?!
Have you ever felt yourself leaking urine while riding?
Have you ever overheard another rider talk about leaking urine while sitting an extended trot?
Do you have pain during intercourse?
Have you ever seen someone jump off their horse and rush to the washroom with a look of anxiety on their face?
Do you unintentionally pass gas?
Do you have to go pee three times before entering the ring at a show?
Do you urinate multiple (>2 times) a night?
These are NOT normal! These are all signs of pelvic floor dysfunction.
While they are not easily discussed these should NOT be normal occurrences that anyone has to live with.
While it may be uncomfortable to talk about, it needs to be voiced more so that people know there is help out there.
Peeing your pants while performing ANY daily functional activity is NOT normal, let alone during riding. This includes sitting the extended trot, jumping, staying on a bucking horse, galloping and even laughing while riding. Not even while pregnant, or even after having a baby is it ‘normal’ for anyone to piddle in their breeches.
It is one of Equus' goals for more women and men to realize and accept this. There are many things that can be done to help achieve an incontinence-free and pelvic floor dysfunction free life.
Let's get some medical jargon out of the way:
Urinary incontinence is the unintentional leakage of urine, and are three types: stress urinary incontinence (SUI), urge urinary incontinence (UUI) and mixed urinary incontinence (MUI). SUI is the leakage of urine when the pelvic floor has an increased demand on it. UUI is the leakage of urine due to the inability to control your release when you have the sensation to void. Ie. Jumping off your horse and not making it to the washroom in time which results in a piddle party. MUI is when an individual experiences both of the above conditions at the same time. Ie. Leaking urine when dismounting from your horse and also having a sense of urgency when untacking.
According to Hampel et. Al (1997), up to 49% of women report SUI. Due to the sensitive nature of this topic it is likely this percentage is underestimated. An example of SUI is when you are sitting the trot on a not so lofty warmblood and you are trying to engage your core so you don’t bounce out of the saddle, with your coach urging you on. This increased tone and tightness of your core increases your intra-abdominal pressure, which increases the demand on your pelvic floor. If your pelvic floor does not have enough strength (either too tight or too weak, which we will explore this at a later date) it will not be able to withstand this increased pressure placed upon it and incontinence can take place. SUI, UUI, and MUI are often a result of this lack in urethral sphincter support, which results in not enough urethral
closure pressure (DeLancey et al., 2008, 2010). Basically, you don’t have enough strength in muscles of the inside of your pelvis to keep the faucet off (in the middle hole of the pelvis).
According to Bo et al., 2015, the first line of defence to help you regain control of the reins of your pelvic floor and incontinence is to seek conservative measures by retraining your pelvic floor musculature. A pelvic floor physiotherapist (Keira at Equus is certified!) can help you get back to NORMAL! Please don't live with this any longer.
1 587 493 0444
Bo et al. (2015). Evidence-Based Physical Therapy for the Pelvic Floor, 2nd Edition.
Hampel et al. (1997). Prevalence and natural history of female incontinence. European Urology., 32 Suppl 2:3-12.