Bladder Leakage After Childbirth

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During pregnancy and after childbirth, many women experience at least some degree of involuntary urination, called urinary incontinence.

“The pelvic floor is a band of muscles that span the entire pelvis to the sacrum supporting the bladder, uterus and rectum. When you’re pregnant, the baby rests on these hammock-like muscles. As the baby grows, the muscles stretch and dip to accommodate the weight. Add in a vaginal birth and there’s a lot of stress and stretch put on those muscles leading to potential forms of incontinence,” says Dr. Hsin Wang, general OB/GYN with a special emphasis in urogynecology at the DMC Huron Valley Sinai Hospital.

Incontinence can mean a leaky bladder with certain situations such as sneezing or activities like jumping or walking or sometimes just with the urge. It can happen every now and than, or daily and it can be compounded by weight gain, other conditions or diseases. Issues can show up right after childbirth or years later.

Many women may feel shame or embarrassment about this change in their bodies, and assume there is no solution. However, incontinence is not only very common, but also responds to a number of noninvasive treatment options.

“As moms and women, we tend to put our needs last. So, when you sneeze and wet yourself, you say, ‘I’ll just deal with it.’ A few years go by and now you wet yourself while working out or gardening… again, you just deal with it. The next thing you know, you’re buying pads because you’re wet daily and you just deal with it. But, you don’t have to. Physical therapy is a great way to correct your leaky bladder at any age or stage,” says Dr. Wang.

At the DMC Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan, certified pelvic floor physical therapists work with you on how to improve your pelvic floor muscle control. Therapists train you on how to properly do Kegel exercises and evaluate and strengthen any other potential orthopedic issues that may contribute to your leaky bladder.

“Within six months, I have such a high percentage of my patients that see a reversal in bladder dysfunction because of physical therapy, I always tell my patients, it’s never too late.”

Urinary incontinence is recognized as a preventive care measure and is covered by insurance. Contact the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan to schedule an evaluation at one of their outpatient facilities by visiting RIM Rehab Incontinence Therapy.

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