Postpartum urinary incontinence is a common condition many women face post pregnancy. Pregnancy and a vaginal delivery can cause increased pressure on the nerves that control the bladder (less common after a c-section delivery) and may result in a higher frequency of urination and urgency. These symptoms include the frequent and immediate need to run to the bathroom at any time of the day or night, for fear of losing urine uncontrollably. Urgency may be associated with some urine leakage. Others can also experience difficulty in emptying their bladders. These symptoms may get worse over time and the condition is called Irritable Bladder.
Another common urinary condition after pregnancy, especially vaginal delivery, is Stress Incontinence. This is the leakage of urine with any strenuous activity. This could include jumping, coughing, laughing, or even sneezing. During a vaginal delivery, the supports for the bladder become stretched or torn. The damage is responsible for stress incontinence. Several patients have complained that after their pregnancy and delivery, they could feel the urine fall when they walked or jumped.
If you notice that you have developed urinary control problems after having a baby, report it to your gynecologist. You can also schedule a consultation with a urogynecologist, a physician that specializes in repairing damages resulting from a pregnancy. Dr. Tahery is a urogynecologist in practice for the past 22 years and heads the Center of Excellence at Cedars Sinai in Women’s Pelvic Health.
Evaluation and testing is done in our office in an efficient and effective manner. Treatment options can include exercise, therapy, medication, minimally invasive surgery or out-patient surgical procedures.
As always, the most important message is that the earlier you address the problem, the easier it is to treat.