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Bladder Leaks and Pregnancy

April 6, 2022

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When you are pregnant, your body produces new hormones and increases levels of other hormones. Almost every body part changes during pregnancy, even in the earliest stages. During pregnancy, your uterus grows and puts pressure on your pelvic and abdominal organs. One of these organs is your bladder.

Due to the uterus's position directly above your bladder and the change in hormones, you may experience some loss of bladder control. Don't worry, this is normal! A leaky bladder during pregnancy is nothing to be ashamed of; it happens to more women than you might think. Discreet absorbent panty liners can help you handle this until things are back to normal. 

What Exactly Is a Leaky Bladder?

During pregnancy, a leaky bladder, also known as urinary incontinence, is when you leak some urine between trips to the bathroom. You may already urinate frequently due to hormonal changes and your growing uterus. Even if you go to the bathroom every 30 minutes, you may still experience urine leakage between bathroom breaks.

Pregnant women are more likely to experience incontinence during physical activity or when they cough, laugh or sneeze. This is because your muscles are put under more stress during these activities. Laughing or sneezing may just be enough to relax the sphincter, causing some urine to leak. In addition, women who have already had a baby are more likely to experience pregnancy-related incontinence than first-time moms.

Common Causes of Leaky Bladder During Pregnancy

  • When the bladder fills with urine, it relaxes. Powerful sphincter muscles keep it closed. When the sphincter needs to relax, nerves send impulses to those muscles, allowing the bladder to empty. Pregnancy causes your muscles to relax even more due to hormone changes. 
  • During pregnancy, the growing fetus puts stress on the same muscles. For some moms, the incontinence continues for several weeks or even months after delivery.
  • Constipation during pregnancy may also contribute to incontinence. A full colon puts more pressure on your bladder.
  • You're more likely to experience incontinence after delivery if forceps are used during birth. Forceps can damage the bladder's sphincter muscles and nerves.
  • Pushing too hard during delivery can also lead to incontinence after delivery. Nerve and muscle damage also contribute to this, which takes a few weeks to heal. 

How Do You Know if You Have a Leaky Bladder?

Pregnancy-related incontinence is characterized by frequent urges to urinate and the feeling that your bladder is not empty after urinating. For most women, incontinence is just a few dribbles of urine. It's most noticeable when exercising, lying on your back, coughing, or sneezing.

When Should You Expect Your Bladder to Become Overactive?

You will notice that your bladder control isn't what it used to be shortly after becoming pregnant. Many pregnant women experience urinary incontinence. You do not need to be ashamed of it because its symptoms can easily be minimized.

You can do many things to retrain your bladder and even strengthen it. You know how annoying it can be if you have experienced urinary incontinence during previous pregnancies. Taking control of the situation gives you more significant relief than you can imagine, especially when running errands or visiting with family and friends.

Prevention and Treatment for a Leaky Bladder During Pregnancy

Despite incontinence being normal for pregnant women/birthing people, ensuring you are comfortable is crucial. Here are some tools and techniques to help you manage your symptoms and support your post-pregnancy healing.

Pelvic Floor Exercises

Doing Kegel exercises can make a big difference. Kegels are simple contract and release exercises that strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. This will prevent bladder leakage during pregnancy.

Develop a Schedule

Keep a supply of panty liners on hand for emergencies and devise a schedule for peeing while pregnant. Establishing a schedule for emptying your bladder at set times will reduce the urgency of your urination. It is a good idea to empty your bladder every 30 minutes to train your bladder to behave. You can adjust your schedule as needed until you find a timeframe that works for you.

Weight Management

During pregnancy, it's normal and healthy to gain weight. Nevertheless, being mindful of not gaining too much weight can help alleviate urinary incontinence symptoms.

Eliminate Irritants 

Avoid bladder-irritating foods and beverages such as coffee, soda, citrus, and tomatoes. Acidic foods can lead to bladder irritation, inflammation, and increased urgency. 

Wear Protection

Wearing a panty liner for urinary incontinence can keep your underwear clean and comfortable. Pads like these are designed to capture and hold liquids, which makes them different from conventional panty liners explicitly designed to collect blood products during your period or after childbirth.

What Are The Benefits of Using Panty Liners During Pregnancy?

There are many benefits to using panty liners for a leaky bladder. For starters, they're discreet. You can go about your day-to-day activities without worrying that you'll be caught out and about with a leak. By signing up for a panty liner subscription service, you can save time, money, and the embarrassment of having to buy them at the store. This way, you'll never run out!

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