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It’s been three weeks since CrossFit released their video, “Do You Pee During Workouts”, and controversy is still brewing.
In the video, several women at the Central East Regional are asked this simple question. The verdict? A resounding yes, and apparently it’s a sign of empowerment. What’s more, a CrossFitter, who also happens to be a gynecologist stated that, in her professional opinion, “it’s okay to pee” while exercising.
CrossFit combines strenuous levels of strength training, weight lifting, kettle bells, and gymnastics. The women in the video seem to take their urinary leaks as a badge of honor – something that lets them know their workout is producing strong and powerful results. One woman, who was shown wiping her urine off the floor, even said that peeing while working out is a “correlate of intensity.”
People are confused about the overall message of the video. Some think that it’s great CrossFit is using humor to address an embarrassing problem that women (and men) are often reluctant to talk about. On the other hand, physiotherapists, fitness professionals, and even the Continence Foundation of Australia (CFA) find the video tasteless (“We’re just putting out.”) and believe it’s sending the wrong message.
While stress urinary incontinence (SUI), or what CrossFit calls as exercise-induced urinary leakage, affects 1 in 4 women, the condition should not be accepted as a norm. Leaking while exercising could be a sign of a weakened or damaged pelvic floor. Hormonal changes, medication, constipation, and other medical conditions, such as diabetes, can even lead to involuntary bladder leakage.
Perhaps the video is meant to encourage women to not be ashamed to leak a little while jumping. The video does touch on the prevalence of the condition and lets other leaky women know that they’re not alone. However, it won’t be something to laugh about when pelvic organs start falling out of place.
Women who experience leakage during exercise should seek help from a pelvic floor therapist to regain control over their bladder. Women should also check with their doctor just to make sure that their SUI isn’t caused by a more serious medical issue. Incontinence pads offer a short-term solution and can keep women dry as they do complete their fitness routine. Kegels, as well as vaginal weights, can also help restore pelvic floor strength.
What’s your take on the video? Is it shedding light or is it sending the wrong message?