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Txt: How to manage incontinence symptoms - compression wear. Sheela logo. SRC Health logo. Woman wearing SRC Health Restore Shorts

Managing Incontinence Symptoms - Compression Wear

Jul 18, 2023

Incontinence is not a natural part of ageing. 

Incontinence (that’s involuntary leaking of wee or poo) can happen to anyone of any age or gender. 

It is incredibly common but not normal and this means that there are ways to prevent, manage and treat incontinence whatever your stage of life. 

Having said that, incontinence can be complex. There are many, many reasons you might become symptomatic, just some of which have to do with the condition of your pelvic floor, so it can take a while to find the solutions that will work for your unique body and your unique circumstances. 

If you’re experiencing incontinence symptoms, we recommend you visit your GP or a Women’s Health Physiotherapist who can assess you and advise you on a personalised treatment plan. 

While you’re doing the hard work finding solutions, you’re going to need to manage your symptoms.

This is the third instalment in our series on how to manage incontinence symptoms. To learn more about incontinence pads and how they might work for you, read the first article here. To learn about the benefits and drawbacks of incontinence pants, click here.

This time, we’re turning our attention to compression shorts and leggings. 

Compression shorts and leggings are garments that provide additional support to the pelvic floor and the core muscles, reducing the load on the pelvic floor and stabilising the pelvis and spine. 

Some can be worn under other clothing and some can be worn on their own.

Manufacturers claim that these garments improve quality of life by reducing leaks and strengthening the pelvic floor. 

Compression shorts and leggings for pelvic floor support are made of strong, stretchy, breathable material that mimics the action of the pelvic floor holding your muscles up and pulling them in gently to give additional support. They have extra layers of compression material in the gusset which maintains contact with the perineum. 

They stop your muscles gripping to maintain control and reduce the load from impact activities like walking, running and jumping so the muscles don’t get so tired. The compression improves blood flow to the area which helps with muscle tone. They also teach your muscles how to support you by teaching them the correct position. It’s thought this works by a proprioception feedback loop which is a complicated way of saying your muscles get used to being in the supported position and overtime, they learn to stay there by themselves.

With compression garments, fit is really important so make sure you follow the manufacturers guidelines. You can also wear most of these with a pessary if you are using one. Again, check with individual manufacturers to make sure.

We have an engineer here in Ireland who has devoted the last ten years of her life to using research to fuel innovation in this area. She manufactures compression shorts and leggings to reduce incontinence and prolapse symptoms.

Yvonne Brady of EVB Sport has brought her problem solving engineering background to pelvic floor issues and produced some extremely well reviewed products which are available online ( The shorts start at £78 and the leggings at £125. They have excellent reviews and are specifically designed to reduce impact on the pelvic floor during exercise activities like running. They are available in sizes 6-18 UK. 

A little further afield in Australia, SRC Health have a range of compression garments for use in pregnancy and postpartum. They also have a Restore Support Garment which has been especially designed as a treatment for Uterine Prolapse and Stress Incontinence. This is also available from and is £55.

SRC report that 37% of people who used these shorts reported an increased quality of life.

These shorts are recommended for mild to moderate incontinence (if you want to know where you fall on the scale, watch this) and for stage 1 and 2 uterine prolapse. 

These can be worn under your clothes and you can wear them with or without underwear. They don’t have any absorbency so if you need to accommodate leaks, you will need some pads or pants in addition. SRC recommends you wear them for as many hours a day as is comfortable. 

Both SRC and EVB garments offer targeted compression of the pelvic floor, deep core muscles and perineal area. They both have flat seams to reduce chafing. The gentle compression gives you a feeling of being held in and helps with feelings of fatigue and weakness in the pelvic area and deep core. 

Unlike control underwear like Spanx, they are made to support your muscle function, not squeeze you in, so you shouldn’t feel like they are cutting into you or reducing your blood supply and you should be able to breathe freely with a soft belly. 

Compression shorts and leggings are an expensive item to add to your list of tools for managing incontinence symptoms but compared to premium leggings like Lululemon (€128) and Sweaty Betty (€110) they start to look competitively priced - especially since these kinds of compression garments will actually reduce incontinence and prolapse symptoms and support your pelvic floor function. 

Compression shorts and leggings are another tool you can use to help manage your incontinence symptoms alongside advice from a medical professional like your GP or a women’s health physiotherapist who can help you find solutions for your unique circumstances. 

For more accessible, practical content like this, follow us on Instagram ( and YouTube (@sheelawomen). 

Lastly, if there is a woman out there you think might need to hear any of this, please share. Pelvic floor issues are incredibly common but not normal and that means there are ways to prevent, manage and treat pelvic floor issues at any age. 

Start your pelvic floor health journey TODAY. 

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