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Marie-Ève Bérubé

Do active and/or passive tissue properties of the pelvic floor muscles differ between women with and without running-induced stress urinary incontinence?

Marie-Ève Bérubé is a doctoral candidate in the Rehabilitation Science program at the University of Ottawa, studying under the supervision of Dr. Linda McLean. They are currently investigating the mechanisms underlying running-induced urinary incontinence in women.

The regular performance of high-impact activities, such as running, is associated with a high prevalence of self-reported stress urinary incontinence among women, and women report that such urine leakage is a barrier to maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle. Further, the regular performance of high impact activities by girls appears to be associated with pelvic floor disorders such as urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse experienced by women later in life. Currently there is little known about the mechanisms that underlie this particular form of urine leakage in women, whereby it is experienced predominantly during physical exercise.

Through investigating differences in the structural, biomechanical and neuromuscular properties of the pelvic floor between female runners who do and who do not regularly experience urine leakage, and differences in these same properties before and after a running protocol, Marie-Ève and Dr. McLean seek to determine whether dysfunction of the pelvic floor muscles and/or associated connective tissues is implicated in exercise-induced stress urinary incontinence experienced by women.

Marie-Ève and Dr. McLean would like to thank the many donors to the Physiotherapy Foundation of Canada, whose generosity has made this research possible.

“We would like to express our deepest gratitude to you; we value your generous support! Through this research we hope to gain insights into the causes of exercise-induced urinary incontinence in women. We plan to use our results to advance recommendations around the prevention and conservative management of this highly prevalent condition, and to test new strategies that may protect the pelvic floor and prevent urine leakage in women while they exercise. The ultimate outcomes of this research have the potential to improve social participation, physical activity and, consequently, the quality of life of Canadian women.”


Marie-Ève is the 2018 recipient of the PFC Alun Morgan Memorial Research Grant in Orthopaedic Physiotherapy.

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