The hormones involved in pregnancy can cause significant physiological changes to a woman’s body. In addition to nausea (morning sickness) and fluctuating emotions, many women experience what can feel like a near constant urge to urinate, as well as leaks following simple motions like sneezing, laughing, and coughing. Even walking can trigger stress incontinence for some pregnant women.
Why are Pregnant Women More at Risk of Developing Incontinence?
Surging hormones and pressure on the bladder can interfere with the natural urination process. These make pregnant women and women who have given birth more susceptible to some form of stress and urge incontinence.
Stress Incontinence in Pregnant Women
Occurs when there is pressure on the bladder from movements like walking, coughing, sneezing, or laughing. In pregnant women, the surge in hormones and additional weight can contribute to added stress on the bladder.
Urge Incontinence in Pregnant Women
This type causes a very sudden and overwhelming need to urinate, with little to no warning, which can sometimes lead to leaks and possibly emptying the bladder before the person can get to a bathroom.
Some people in LA experience what is known as mixed incontinence, which causes urine leakage and loss of bladder control as a result of both stress and urge incontinence.
Learn more about incontinence during pregnancy at webmd.com.
Tips to Help Prevent and Manage Pregnancy Incontinence
Most if not all pregnant women are likely to experience some form of urine leakage and bladder control problems during and after pregnancy. While the problem is not always preventable, there are steps that all women can take to help minimize the risk.
- Maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy – The health dangers of excessive weight gain and obesity for pregnant women and the general population have been gaining increasing attention in recent years, and for good reason. From heart disease to diabetes, obesity has become a national health epidemic that puts the lives of millions of American children and adults at risk. For pregnant women, obesity can lead to potentially serious conditions like gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, infections, and complications with labor. It can also increase the risk of incontinence.
- Plan ahead – The thought of scheduling bathroom breaks may sound pointless or counterintuitive when dealing with incontinence, which can feel uncontrollable under normal circumstances but especially during pregnancy, can actually help to manage the risk of accidents.
- Strengthen the pelvic muscles – Urological problems like urinary incontinence and vaginal prolapse after childbirth result from weakening of the pelvic floor muscles. Practicing contracting the muscles that control the flow of urine (Kegel exercises) can be helpful in some cases.
- Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to ask for help – Incontinence can be a delicate and awkward condition to discuss, even with a doctor. With women twice as likely to be affected as men, seeking help from a urologist is the first step in finding relief. The Los Angeles urologists at the Institute for Incontinence, Vaginal Reconstruction & Women’s Health specialize in urology care for female patients and their unique needs and concerns. Diagnosis and treatment in a compassionate, understanding environment can help ease the stigma and reluctance to seek treatment for the millions of women estimated to suffer in silence from some form of urinary incontinence.
Does Incontinence End After Pregnancy?
The symptoms and duration vary from person to person and depend on the anatomy and health of each person. If symptoms persist after pregnancy, schedule an appointment with a urologist to discuss appropriate incontinence treatment options, which can range from behavior modification to urological devices and surgery, depending on each patient’s individual circumstances.
Can Urine Leakage Be Treated?
The urology team at the Institute for Incontinence, Vaginal Reconstruction & Women’s Health in Los Angeles has designed a comprehensive, multi-faceted approach to helping women get their lives back and return to normal activities without the fear or anxiety involved with bladder control problems. There is a range of incontinence treatment options for female patients, ranging from medication, surgery, non-surgical treatments like physical therapy and strength training, and holistic treatments, which can be especially of interest to pregnant women suffering from urine leakage. In addition to potentially helping to ease the symptoms of an overactive bladder during pregnancy, holistic treatments like meditation and acupuncture can help to relieve feelings of stress, depression, and anxiety for expectant mothers.
Contact a Beverly Hills Urologist for Female Incontinence Treatment
The anxiety, discomfort, and inconvenience that often accompany bladder control problems can be disruptive, and compromise daily routines and overall quality of life. Because of the sensitive nature of the condition, many women can feel ashamed or embarrassed to ask for help. To learn more about the symptoms and treatment options for incontinence and other female urological conditions, contact the Institute for Incontinence, Vaginal Reconstruction & Women’s Health by calling 310-307-3552 to schedule a consultation with a board certified urologist today.