The problem of incontinence after childbirth occurs extremely frequently. However, it is not an insurmountable problem. There are many ways to deal with urinary incontinence effectively. Find out how you can help yourself.
Urinary leakage after childbirth
Pregnancy is one of the most common causes of urinary incontinence. Uncontrollable leakage occurs with the slightest effort – coughing, sneezing or even laughing out loud. It literally takes only a moment for a few, and sometimes much more, drops to appear on the underwear. This is very embarrassing, especially since there are quite a few of these “efforts” when caring for a child. This embarrassing problem also effectively hinders social contacts.
Postpartum urinary incontinence and its causes
An involuntary and uncontrolled leakage of urine from the bladder during physical effort, coughing or sneezing is called stress urinary incontinence. It is caused by changes taking place in a woman’s organism during pregnancy. The pelvic floor muscles weaken considerably due to the load they have to support for 9 months.
Extra pounds put pressure on the muscles, which in turn leads to their loosening and relaxation. This process also affects the ligaments that are responsible for supporting the lower part of the urinary and reproductive systems.
Urinary incontinence after pregnancy is a common affliction for women who:
- have given birth to babies weighing more than 4 kg,
- have already had several pregnancies,
- have given birth using instruments such as forceps or a vacuum.
Urinary incontinence after pregnancy – how to help yourself?
Very often the problem of uncontrollable urine leakage disappears during the puerperium. The muscles return to their original state and begin to fulfil their role again. Sometimes, however, the time to return to the shape from before pregnancy is significantly prolonged. Then the problem becomes increasingly unbearable and embarrassing. Fortunately, there are hygienic products on the market which restore women’s comfort and self-confidence.We are talking both about special pads and sanitary towels and about innovative Polish tampons URITAM for urinary incontinence. Tampons allow women to return to a comfortable, active life without the feeling of shame and embarrassment. They are invisible, can be used up to 12 hours without the need to change, additionally prevent unpleasant smells. They are available in several sizes, which allows for a perfect fit. They allow you to take care of your baby without frequent visits to the toilet. And the time saved can be used for rest, which young mums really need.
However, it is worth remembering that tampons are not medicine. If the problem does not disappear, but on the contrary – intensifies – it is necessary to seek specialist help. Return to full fitness is more difficult for women who are struggling with excessive kilograms. Therefore, after pregnancy, it is worthwhile to gradually return to sporting activities. We are talking above all about walks, as well as gentle training at home. When exercising, it is worth focusing particularly on the so-called Kegel muscles, or pelvic floor muscles.
Urinary incontinence after childbirth – treatment
If exercise does not produce any results, it is worth considering visiting a specialist. One treatment option, for example, is electrostimulation. This involves applying an electrical impulse to make the muscles contract. Another treatment might be biofeedback, a treatment that uses an apparatus to help you exercise your pelvic floor contractions. If none of these methods are effective, treatment with drugs or even surgery may be necessary.
In order to increase your comfort, it is also worth remembering a few rules which will help you avoid stressful situations related to incontinence. It is important to take care of intimate hygiene, which involves wearing cotton underwear. It is also a good idea to carry spare underwear and hygiene items such as intimate hygiene wipes, pads and tampons for incontinence. Also remember not to give up drinking and to exercise your pelvic floor muscles every day.
How to prevent the problem of incontinence after childbirth?
The best way to ‘manage’ incontinence is prevention. How? We recommend a visit to a urogynaecological physiotherapist at the beginning of pregnancy, who will assess whether and which exercises you should start doing to strengthen the relevant muscles. The care of a physiotherapist and following his/her recommendations during pregnancy and after childbirth will reduce the risk of unwanted complications and will help you get back in shape more easily and quickly.
If – despite the care of a physiotherapist – urinary incontinence persists for more than 6 months, a medical consultation may be required, but this is a topic for another article