A large percentage of new moms will deal with female urinary incontinence in the first year after childbirth. Even uneventful pregnancies with minimal complications can result in this incredibly common condition. Yet many women feel embarrassed by their incontinence and wonder why it’s taking so long for things to get back to normal. In response, urology specialists at Medical Center Urology say that there is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of—and that there are ways to treat it.
If you’re affected by postnatal incontinence, or worry that you might be, here’s what you need to know:
C-Sections Don’t Prevent Incontinence: Some women are tempted to plan for a C-section instead of going through a vaginal birth, but they may end up getting postpartum incontinence anyway. This is because a predisposition toward incontinence could be genetic.
You Can Exercise & Play Sports With a Pessary: If you’re concerned about female urinary incontinence limiting your ability to stay active, ask a urologist about fitting you for a pessary. Designed to sit inside the vagina, pessaries are used to treat a variety of pelvic conditions by providing extra support. They’re meant to be inserted in the morning and removed at night.
Kegel Exercises Can Minimize Female Urinary Incontinence: Otherwise known as PC (pubococcygeus) squeezes, Kegel exercises after childbirth can help minimize both types of incontinence: stress incontinence, which is when you urinate a small amount after a large sneeze, cough, or laugh, and urge incontinence, which is also known as an overactive bladder.
Surgery Is Available for Stress Incontinence: In severe cases of stress incontinence, you might consider getting a “bladder sling,” a U-shaped mesh sling that supports your urethra. Surgery is quick and minimally invasive, and is a great long-term option for those who don’t plan on having more children.
Medical Center Urology is located in High Point, NC, and treats patients with female urinary incontinence every day. To set up an appointment, give them a call at (336) 882-0220. More information about their practice is available online.