Bladder Control during pregnancy
Most women experience bladder control issue also known as incontinence because of the changes the body experiences during pregnancy and childbirth. It can either be mild or severe. But whatever the case, lack of bladder control shouldn’t make things difficult for you during pregnancy.
Why does it happen?
In general, when you’re urinating, the muscles around your urethra relax to let the urine flow and then the muscles contract once you're finished. During pregnancy, the way your urethra relaxes and contracts changes.
The type of incontinence experienced during pregnancy is called stress incontinence. This is due to the increased pressure on the bladder and hormonal changes. Because of it, everytime you laugh, sneeze or cough you may find yourself peeing.
How can you manage it?
There are a few simple ways for you to keep your bladder in check.
1. Kegels - Kegel exercises tighten and strengthen the muscles in the pelvic floor. A simple way to do a kegel exercise is to stop the flow of urine midstream by contracting your muscles for a few seconds and then releasing them.
It takes about 4 to 6 weeks of doing kegel exercises regularly before you see any change in your bladder control.
2. Bathroom breaks - One thing that’s better than rushing into the toilets when your feel your bladder is full, is to schedule bathroom breaks. Ideally having a bathroom break once every 2 hours will prevent any accidents occurring in case you need to pee but can’t find an empty stall.
When do you see the doctor?
It’s always better to discuss your incontinence with your doctor no matter how small it is. It can sometimes be related to an underlying medical condition so do not ignore it. Especially if you still have bladder control issues after pregnancy then you need to seek medical advice.