Urinary Incontinence during Pregnancy: What to Expect

Updated at: Jul 08, 2013
Urinary Incontinence during Pregnancy: What to Expect

If you leak urine every time you cough, laugh, or sneeze, you're not alone. Find out what to expect and what you can do about it.

Himanshu Sharma
PregnancyWritten by: Himanshu SharmaPublished at: Jul 08, 2013

Urinary incontinence is a medical condition of the involuntary leakage of urine or disrupted process of storing and passing urine.

A pregnant womanPregnancy is one of the major factors that cause urinary incontinence. The loss of bladder control during pregnancy can be annoying and embarrassing. But, it's normal and it disappears after childbirth.

This happens because the foetus pushes down on the bladder, urethra (tube that you urinate from) and pelvic floor muscles. As a result of the pressure, the pelvic floor support is weakened and may lead to leaks or problems passing urine.

How to Deal with Urinary Incontinence during Pregnancy

If you are embarrassed because of your bladder control problem, there are many things you can do to cope with it. The following are some ways in which you can cope with urinary incontinence during pregnancy:

  • Working up to three sets of 15 kegel exercises a day can help a great deal to overcome the condition.
  • Wearing absorbent pads and avoiding going out are some of the ways you can do on your own.
  • Physical activity reduces your risk of developing urinary incontinence. If you're overweight, work out to reach a healthy weight. Prenatal yoga is another way of dealing with urinary incontinence. Before any sort of physical activity, it is advised to ask your health care provider.
  • The involuntary leakage usually occurs when a woman coughs, sneezes, laughs or lifts a heavy object. At that time, she can cross her legs to prevent involuntary urine leakage.
  • Timed voiding and bladder training are the behavioural methods that provide respite from urinary incontinence during and after pregnancy. These methods basically train your bladder, as you set time to urinate and do so before an urge occurs.
  • If you keep constipation in check during pregnancy, you ascertain that bowel doesn't put added pressure on the bladder. To prevent constipation, include more fibre in your diet.
  • Cutting back on drinking liquids can help you prevent leakage episodes.
  • Sometimes, foods and beverages such as coffee, citrus fruits, tomatoes, soft drinks and alcohol irritate your bladder. That’s why it is important to keep track of your diet. Identify the triggers and make sure you avoid them.

When to see the physician

Besides do-it-yourself solutions, there are better ways to deal with the urinary incontinence. See your doctor and ask about effective treatments, especially when incontinence is frequent or is affecting your quality of life.

When you visit the practitioner, be sure to ask if there's anything you need to do in advance such as restrict your diet. Detail him/her about the symptoms you're experiencing, including those that seem unrelated to urinary incontinence. You should always list of all medications, vitamins or supplements that you're taking.



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