Pregnancy is a magical time of waiting for a baby, which unfortunately can be associated with many discomforts. The most commonly mentioned include morning nausea, dizziness and heartburn. Urinary incontinence is also among them. Find out how to deal with it.
We recommend that you visit a urogynaecological physiotherapist at the start of your pregnancy to assess whether and what 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 into shape more easily and quickly.
Pregnancy – incontinence
Unintentional urination, especially during pregnancy, is a problem that affects a great many women. Unfortunately, it is still a taboo subject. Patients do not admit it even to their doctors. It is an embarrassing problem that has a negative impact on both physical and mental health. Women give up many activities in fear of unexpected leakage of urine e.g. when coughing, sneezing or laughing.
Pregnant women usually suffer from stress urinary incontinence, i.e. involuntary leakage during the slightest physical effort. This condition is common during pregnancy and in most cases disappears after delivery.
Urinary leakage during pregnancy – causes
Urinary incontinence in pregnancy is the result of natural changes in a woman’s body. The enlarged uterus starts to put more and more pressure on the urinary bladder and this leads to its uncontrolled emptying. The pelvic floor muscles are not able to stop this process due to hormone imbalance. This condition can happen at any time during pregnancy. However, it most often occurs in the third trimester. Stress urinary incontinence in pregnancy may disappear after about six months after delivery. However, if the problem is completely underestimated during pregnancy, it may persist even after delivery.
Urinary leakage during pregnancy – what can be done to prevent it?
The best way to prevent this problem during pregnancy, and to increase the chance of returning to full fitness after the baby is born, is to systematically exercise the pelvic floor muscles as indicated by a urogynaecological physiotherapist. This will make the right muscles stronger and more flexible.
Pelvic floor muscle training involves squeezing and relaxing the muscles for a few minutes a day. You can increase the frequency over time. These exercises are not only key to preventing the problem of urine leakage, they can also make the birth go much quicker and more smoothly. Flexible and strong pelvic floor muscles also have a positive effect on sexual experience.
Pregnancy and urinary incontinence, or… how to help yourself?
If you are struggling with incontinence, you should not despair. It is completely normal during pregnancy. The most serious mistake you can make is to stop taking in fluids. Even if you have involuntary urination during pregnancy, you should take in at least two litres of fluid a day. However, the consumption of black tea and coffee should be limited. The caffeine they contain can irritate the bladder. Fizzy drinks should be replaced by water, fruit teas or soft juices.
There are many products on the market that can help you to deal with this condition. Thanks to them you can feel confident and comfortable in every situation. One of them are urological insoles, which are characterised by a high level of absorption. However, they are not always comfortable. In order to provide women with the highest level of comfort, we decided to introduce an innovative product to the market, i.e. incontinence tampons. Their task is to compress walls of urethra and prevent involuntary leakage of urine. Tampons are made of high-quality PVA foam which is safe for health. Nevertheless, their use during pregnancy should be consulted with a gynaecologist.
Urinary incontinence during pregnancy can promote the development of genitourinary infections. These can have a negative effect on the foetus. In order to prevent them, it is necessary to take care of proper hygiene of intimate places, to drink enough fluids and not to delay the need to urinate. It is worth remembering about comfortable underwear made of natural materials, which is breathable and ensures the right temperature of intimate places.
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