Honors Theses and Capstones

Date of Award

Spring 2022

Project Type

Senior Honors Thesis

College or School




Program or Major


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

First Advisor

Kerry Nolte

Second Advisor

Bridget Linehan



Introduction Women have a 2-3.5 times greater chance of urinary incontinence (UI) during exercise. Some high-impact activities are particularly provocative including gymnastics, trampoline, and volleyball. Athletic UI can cause frustration, worry, and embarrassment for women, negatively influencing their quality of life and sports performance. Methods This secondary analysis aimed to compare UI frequency with the amount of frustration, worry, and embarrassment (F/W/E) experienced by athletic and active women with UI. Data regarding the frequency of UI, management strategies, amount of F/W/E, and demographics from the Active Women’s Incontinence Screening Tool (AWIST) was analyzed. Data analysis was performed in Excel and SPSS. Results A sample of 61 survey responses, who reported UI on the AWIST, were included in analysis. Brisk walking, skiing, and running were the most reported activities. The most common UI management strategies included wearing pads or tampons, worry regarding clothing, and changing place and time of exercise. Women who reported “a lot” of F/W/E had a higher frequency of UI. Two-thirds of participants talked to someone about their urine leaking. Discussion Many athletes and active women who engage in activity experience UI. Most women use management strategies, some even avoiding specific exercises or exercising less often which could have long-term effects on physical health. Clinicians must recognize that women with a greater frequency of UI are more likely to have F/W/E and provide care accordingly. The percentage of participants with UI who discussed symptoms with others was notably higher than previous findings.