Pregnancy is a joyous time full of expectations, but it also involves some major physical changes. Small bladder leaks, on the other hand, are a change you might not expect. You may have found that common actions like laughing, coughing, sneezing, or exercising have left you in wet underwear. Incontinence during pregnancy is natural and occurs in almost all pregnant women.
Incontinence of pregnancy occurs as a result of the incredible changes in your body during the 9 months of pregnancy. The weight of supporting your growing baby puts a lot of pressure on your body and your pelvic floor. It can be weakened as a result of persistent effort to carry a growing child. The pelvic floor can also be weakened by changing hormone levels during pregnancy.
Urine leakage is normal during pregnancy, alarming as it may sound. Don’t be concerned; it’s entirely natural.
Types of pregnancy incontinence
Stress incontinence, or involuntary bladder leaks caused by a weaker pelvic floor, is the most prevalent type of pregnancy incontinence. The system of muscles, ligaments, and tissue that supports your bladder, uterus, and anus is known as your pelvic floor. When the pelvic floor is compromised, it will give way under pressure or stress, allowing urine to escape the bladder in a splatter.
Do you usually urinate a little when you laugh? Or do you have a cough? Or do you sneeze? If you leak, it’s most likely incontinence, which means it’s caused by something like laughing, coughing, or sneezing, or anything else that puts little pressure on your bladder.
Pelvic floor exercises are an important part of preventing stress incontinence and urine leakage during pregnancy.
An overactive bladder, often known as urge incontinence, can induce incontinence during pregnancy in some situations. Urge incontinence occurs when the bladder’s nerves or tissues are damaged, causing frequent, rapid, and severe desires to urinate. The uterus’s weight can exert strain on the nerves that lead to the bladder, causing it to spasm and sending you scrambling to the bathroom.
Although incontinence during pregnancy is a common problem that affects almost all women, several risk factors can make symptoms worse or more frequent.
They are as follows:
- Older maternal age
- Being overweight
- Previous vaginal deliveries that injured the bladder nerves or compromised the pelvic floor
- The nerves and tissues surrounding the bladder were injured by previous pelvic surgery, such as a C-section.
- Smoking, which causes a chronic cough.
- Diabetes during pregnancy might harm your nerves.
Because your expanding uterus is still located inside your pelvis and competing for a room with your bladder in the early weeks of pregnancy, you may urinate more often. After the twelfth week, when the uterus rises to the womb, you will find that it needs to go less regularly. But don’t get too comfortable: When your baby is positioned for birth in the last weeks of pregnancy, his head can press directly against your bladder, making it difficult to hold urine.
Do not worry. Incontinence during pregnancy is usually only temporary. As your pelvic floor regains strength after giving birth, your bladder should return to its pre-childbearing state. Some women experience incontinence after giving birth, but this usually goes away after a year. If not, make an appointment with your doctor.
Management and Prevention Tips
You don’t need to feel uncomfortable because incontinence is common throughout pregnancy. Some strategies can help you reduce the severity of your symptoms and speed up your postpartum recovery.
- Pelvic Floor Exercises: Kegel exercises are a type of exercise that you may be familiar with. Kegel exercises strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, making them better able to hold urine and reducing bladder loss during pregnancy. Adopting a “ready” plan can help you eliminate the urge to urinate and increase the predictability of your trips to the bathroom. Start by going to the bathroom every two hours, whether or not you feel like urinating. If you feel like you need to go more regularly, adjust your schedule. Keeping your bladder empty throughout the day can help prevent minor leaks.
- Watch the Gain: Gaining weight during pregnancy is healthy and unavoidable. On the other hand, making sure you don’t gain too much weight can help ease incontinence symptoms during pregnancy.
- Wear protection: Always Discreet Urinary Incontinence Liners and Pads preserve your underwear while keeping it fresh, clean and comfortable. I have always brought their trusted absorbency technology to urinary products, resulting in bladder protection that is thin, feminine and flexible – not the bulky incontinence items you may be used to. Always Discreet is specifically designed for urine leakage, unlike typical feminine hygiene products that are designed for menstrual blood, which is sticky and thicker than urine. Discreet liners and pads absorb leaks and odours in seconds, keeping you dry and covered so you can successfully manage your pregnancy incontinence and have a pleasant and comfortable pregnancy.