Incontinence After Pregnancy is Not a Life Sentence. So Don’t Treat it as One
It’s not unknown that pregnancy is easily the most special and beautiful period in the woman’s life. 40 weeks bring changes to a woman’s body and its functions, and these constant yet dramatic changes is what makes pregnancy such a unique experience. However, many are oblivious to the fact that issues faced in that period such as urinary incontinence may remain even after pregnancy. It is common but it is not normal and thus should not be ignored.
Urinary incontinence is different for everyone and not just in terms of its severity. While some women may be getting an occasional leak, others have the issue so bad it interferes with their daily lives. There are three kinds of incontinence: stress, urge and mixed and each has a different cause. Childbirth and/or pregnancy usually triggers stress incontinence which is caused by weakened pelvic floor muscles. It basically means that you will experience loss of bladder control when there’s a strain on your abdomen. Even small actions such as – laughing, sneezing, coughing or getting up from a chair can cause these strains.
How does pregnancy cause stress incontinence?
It is not just childbirth that becomes the cause of bladder control issues but the pregnancy itself. However, many women disregard it as a potential cause and thus make an assumption that having a Cesarean section will help them avoid incontinence. Unfortunately, they are wrong.
This is because even though the extra strain to the pelvic floor of a vaginal birth is avoided when the birth is by Caesarian, throughout the pregnancy, the baby constantly applies pressure on the pelvic floor and it gets particularly strong in the third trimester when it grows a whole lot bigger and heavier, so some damage will have already occurred prior to birth.
What are Kegel exercises?
The most popular method of dealing with post-pregnancy incontinence are Kegel exercises. They are pretty popular as they offer incredible flexibility, meaning you can perform them basically anywhere amidst of carrying out normal day-to-day activities. For example, you can easily do them while driving a car. You should however discuss them with your physician as Kegel exercise will only be effective if done correctly.
There is another practice called bladder retraining. It is precisely what it sounds like – it is a routine of Kegel exercises that is focused on helping you with continence management by holding the urine for longer times. Again, you should always discuss with your physician which would be the best approach for your case because everyone’s body is different and thus has different responses.
Kegel exercises are not the only way to fight incontinence. There are medicines and surgery options available. However, these solutions tend to be pricey and there is always a looming danger of side effects. If these factors worry you, there is a third – pelvic floor exercisers that use TENS stimulation.
Does TENS therapy help incontinence?
To answer it shortly – yes. It is a medically proven way of strengthening pelvic floor muscles without a surgery or drugs. This is why at TensCare we have a wide range of continence management products - we know for a fact they are effective and will help you get your life back.
Pelvic floor exercises are one of the most effective forms of continence management and provide a discreet, affordable and long-term solution for incontinence sufferers.
Pelvic floor exercisers send a gentle stimulation to your pelvic floor through a vaginal probe, working your pelvic floor muscle for you and enabling you to develop your own muscle control. Along with pelvic floor exercises, they gently strengthen and tone your pelvic floor muscle which in-turn improves the symptoms of incontinence. Sessions last for just 20 minutes a day and should be used for a period of 12 weeks. Many see improvements within as little as 3-4 weeks.
Incontinence is not a life sentence and should not be treated as one just because it’s common. Common does not mean normal, and it should be kept in mind. You should pay a visit to a urogynecologist to find the root of your issue and together come up with a solution to help you take your life back.