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The Sport Information Resource Centre

Research Study Title: Does a regular tampon or an intravaginal pessary mitigate urine leakage while running among females who experience exercise-induced urinary incontinence?

Location: Ottawa area

We are conducting a study looking at female runners who experience urine leakage on at least half of their runs. Running increases the load on the pelvic floor muscles due to its high impact nature. We are investigating two simple approaches that may eliminate urine leakage during exercise – the use of a tampon and the use of a pessary.

What is involved?

  • Telephone screening interview
  • Online questionnaires about running habits and satisfaction of the intervention used
  • Pelvic floor and bladder volume ultrasound imaging
  • Three 5km running sessions on a treadmill. Once without any intervention, once with a tampon and once with a pessary. Each lasting approximately 2 hours​.
  • Proper pessary fitting

You can participate if you:

  • Experience urine leakage during at least half of your runs
  • Are 18 years or older
  • Run at least 10km/week and have been running for at least 4 weeks
  • Speak and read English and/or French

You cannot participate if you:

  • Currently are pregnant or have been in the past 6 months
  • Have cardiac, pulmonary, metabolic and/or neurological conditions
  • Have had surgery for urinary incontinence
  • Have a lower body injury that limits your running ability
  • Have had a hysterectomy or any other gynecological surgeries

If you are interested in participating, please contact Dr. Marina Petter-Rodrigues, physiotherapist and post-doctoral fellow at