Urinary incontinence is usually broken down into two types, stress incontinence and urge incontinence. Stress incontinence is an involuntary urine leak that occurs during coughing, laughing, sneezin or exercise. Urge incontinence is characterized by a sudden, uncontrollable urge to urinate. It can happen at any time, even when there is not a bathroom nearby.
Stress incontinence can be an after effect of childbirth. In fact, it can also happen during pregnancy. There is more pressure on the bladder during pregnancy. The muscles in the bladder and the pelvic floor cannot handle the extra stress and pressure, leading to bladder leakage. This pressure leads to stress urinary incontinence, also known as overactive bladder (OAB).Â During pregnancy, the best methods for managing stress urinary incontinence are bladder training and Kegel exercises. Bladder training refers to trying to space out the time between when you urinate. Kegels are exercises that tighten and strengthen the pelvic floor muscles.
Although not all women who have had children experience stress urinary incontinence, it is more common in women who have given birth. Stress incontinence in this case is caused by weakness of the pelvic muscles and ligamentsâ€”the result of delivering a child, which can be traumatic to the body.
Childbirth is a wonderful thing but unfortunately it can be the cause of stress urinary incontinence. During pregnancy, the urethra and bladder move, which can lead to later incontinence. Giving birth can cause damage to the nerves that control the bladder and weaken the pelvic floor. Some women need an episiotomy, a cut made to get the baby out, but this cut goes through the pelvic floor muscles. All of these are factors can contribute to postpartum stress urinary incontinence.
A prolapsed bladder can also happen due to childbirth. Prolapsed bladder is when the bladder is no longer supported and descends into the vagina. This happens because of damage to the vaginal wall, often because of giving birth.
New moms have a lot to worry about, and may try to ignore their symptoms or assume they are just a part of the postpartum process. Stress urinary incontinence is not normal, but it does happen and it is treatable. If incontinence continues 2-3 months after giving birth, it is time to see a physician. Stress urinary incontinence is treatable with both surgical and non-surgical treatment options.
At the Incontinence Institute, we have individualized treatment plans and specialize in these types of health issues. Our physicians can determine what options would work best for you, and if you are a candidate for urethral sling surgery, an outpatient procedure that lifts the urethra back to its proper place, working to eliminate symptoms of stress urinary incontinence.Â Contact usÂ or call our discreet, dedicated Medical Concierge at 800-771-1953 to learn more.