Incontinence Related to Pregnancy
Urinary incontinence is the unintentional passing of urine. It is a very common problem that is thought to affect about three million people in the UK.
During pregnancy the increased weight of the baby stretches the pelvic floor muscles, when muscles are stretched they cannot work as well. The pelvic floor muscles are also stretched during delivery and both these factors can increase chances of incontinence.
Pelvic floor physiotherapy can help with the following:
- Urinary stress incontinence
- Urge incontinence
- Faecal incontinence
- Pain related to the pelvic floor muscles
- Symptoms of prolapse
- Urinary stress incontinence occurs when the pelvic floor muscles are too weak to prevent urination.
- Urge incontinence is thought to occur as a result of incorrect signals being sent between the brain and the bladder.
These two types of urinary incontinence are thought to be responsible for up to 90% of all cases of the condition. It is also possible to have a mixture of both stress and urge urinary incontinence.
Up to two thirds of women with stress incontinence can be helped with pelvic floor physiotherapy.
Based on an initial assessment, appropriate treatment will be initiated by your Physiotherapist. Treatment may involve one or more of the following:
- Pelvic floor exercises
- Muscle Stimulation
- General advice is always given, this will include (as appropriate):
- Bladder training
- Lifestyle changes
At all times patients are involved in the decision making process of their treatment plan and receive advice/exercise leaflets to support this.
Pelvic Floor Exercises
The pelvic floor muscles are at the bottom of your pelvis supporting the pelvic organs.
Pelvic floor muscles are needed to:
- Aid bladder and bowel control
- Help prevent a prolapse of your pelvic organs
- Increase sexual enjoyment for you and your partner.
These muscles are just like any other muscles and get weaker if not exercised regularly. It is important for all women to be doing their pelvic floor exercises everyday to aid bladder and bowel control.