Why do I have incontinence problems after pregnancy?
There are mainly 2 things (but many situations) that can cause urinary incontinence after pregnancy.
Pelvic organ prolapse (cystocele) – the bladder slips out of place because of the weakened muscles surrounding it.
Injury during delivery – a problematic vaginal delivery can result in injuries to the pelvic nerves that control bladder function, the pelvic floor muscles and anal sphincter muscles.
Can I prevent urinary incontinence after pregnancy?
The answer is both yes and no. You can’t prevent an injury. A C-section does offer lesser risk of incontinence and pelvic prolapse, but comes with so many other risks. It should not be considered because of that.
So, what can you do? You can do kegel exercises, and a lot of them. Exercising your pelvic floor muscles can prevent bladder control problems. You should continue doing them after giving birth even if you don’t experience any problems because it can happen later in life.
What can I do about it?
If you are experiencing urinary incontinence after pregnancy, there are a few things you can try very easily yourself.
- Kegel exercises strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which result in better bladder control and less leakage.
- Drink water and stay away from caffeinated and carbonated drinks.
- Eat fibers to avoid getting constipated (constipation can cause leaks).
- Keep a healthy wait to keep pressure off of your bladder.
- Schedule the leakage. Can you figure out when and why you might be able to prevent it by going to the bathroom before that.
If nothing works, don’t wait too long to get help. You might need surgery or some other help to get better.