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Urinary Incontinence & Pregnancy

Urinary Incontinence and Pregnancy

For many women, urinary incontinence (leakage) is common during pregnancy or after giving birth as the body undergoes changes to accommodate a growing baby.

Why does urinary incontinence occur during pregnancy? There are several reasons. Hormones fluctuate significantly during pregnancy, affecting the muscles and tissues in the pelvic area. Moreover, as the uterus expands to accommodate the growing baby, it puts pressure on the bladder. This pressure can reduce the bladder's capacity and contribute to increased urinary frequency and urgency. Childbirth can also stretch and weaken the pelvic floor muscles, causing them to provide inadequate support to the bladder and urethra, leading to loss of control.

There are two main types of urinary incontinence that can occur during pregnancy:

1) Stress incontinence is the most common type experienced by pregnant women. It occurs when pressure on the bladder increases due to activities such as coughing, sneezing, laughing, or lifting heavy objects. The weakened pelvic floor muscles and increased weight of the uterus can contribute to stress incontinence.

2) Urge incontinence is characterized by a sudden and strong urge to urinate, often followed by involuntary urine leakage. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can irritate the bladder, making it more sensitive and prone to involuntary contractions.

Recovering from the effects of pregnancy and childbirth on bladder control can vary for each woman. Over time, mothers can regain strength in their pelvic floor muscles, and bladder control usually improves within a few months after giving birth. However, some may continue to experience urinary incontinence. It is important to seek medical advice for appropriate treatment options. Pelvic floor exercises or working with a pelvic floor physical therapist can help recover and improve bladder control postpartum.

Stay tuned for more information on how to improve bladder control and reduce urine leakage!

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