Everything You Need to Know About Pregnancy Incontinence

The female body goes through a substantial amount of changes during pregnancy, and some changes are easier to deal with than others.  Many women can handle the mood swings, weight gain, nausea, and other problems, but many struggle with a common problem that develops during pregnancy: urinary incontinence.  Some doctors tell women they’ll feel an increased urge to urinate, but many women go far beyond having a frequent urge.  Some women only experience incontinence problems during their pregnancy, and others have incontinence problems for the rest of their lives.

About Pregnancy Incontinence

Most people believe that urinary incontinence occurs during pregnancy because the baby is pushed up against the bladder walls, but the real explanation behind it is more in-depth.  Women who have an overactive bladder need to urinate more than usual because their bladders have uncontrollable spasms. The muscles surround the urethra can be affected because of the erratic movements. These muscles are meant to prevent urine from leaving the body, but sometimes they’re unable to perform their purpose if the bladder has a strong contraction.  During pregnancy the expanding uterus puts pressure on the bladder. The muscles in the bladder sphincter and in the pelvic floor can be overwhelmed by the extra stress or pressure on the bladder. Urine may leak out of the bladder when there is additional pressure exerted.

About Post Pregnancy Incontinence

Some women stop experiencing urinary incontinence problems after they deliver their baby, but some people continue to have problems after their child is born.  It’s possible for incontinence problems to continue after birth because childbirth weakens the pelvic floor muscles, and weak pelvic floor muscles can cause an overactive bladder. Pregnancy and childbirth also may contribute to bladder control problems because of a variety of conditions.  Nerves that control the bladder can be damaged during birth, or the urethra and bladder may have shifted during pregnancy.   An episiotomy can cause urinary incontinence issues because the pelvic floor muscle was cut to make the vaginal delivery easier.

Managing Incontinence

Urinary incontinence can be inconvenient, but it’s still able to be managed with incontinence supplies and exercise.  Some women find that keeping track of when they urinate helps them identify certain leakage patterns so that they can avoid having leakage in the future by going to bathroom at their known “problem times”.  Others gradually try to gain back their bladder strength by postponing their bathroom visits by a few minutes and gradually increasing their holding time by a few minutes.  Doing kegel exercises can also help strengthen your bladder muscles.

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