Pregnancy and Bladder Control

The Link Between Pregnancy and Bladder Control

The added weight and pressure of pregnancy can weaken pelvic floor muscles. Other aspects of pregnancy and childbirth can also cause problems, for example:
  • Changed position of bladder and urethra
  • Vaginal delivery
  • Episiotomy (the cut in the muscle that makes it easier for the baby to come out)
  • Damage to bladder control nerves.

Pregnancy and Bladder Control Healthcare Providers

Professionals who can help you with bladder control include:
  • Your primary care doctor
  • A gynecologist
  • A urogynecologist (an expert in women's bladder problems)
  • A urologist (an expert in bladder problems)
  • A nurse or nurse practitioner
  • A physical therapist.

Pregnancy and Bladder Control: When to Seek Medical Help

If you still have a bladder problem six weeks after childbirth, talk to your doctor. Without treatment, lost bladder control can become a long-term problem. Accidental leaking can also signal that something else is wrong in your body.
Bladder control problems do not always show up right after childbirth. Some women do not begin to have problems until later, often in their 40s.
You and your healthcare team must first find out why you have lost bladder control. Then you can discuss treatment. After treatment, most women regain or improve their bladder control. Regaining control helps you enjoy a healthier and happier life.

Pregnancy and Bladder Control: Prevention

Women who exercise certain pelvic muscles have fewer bladder problems later on. These muscles are called pelvic floor muscles. If you plan to have a baby, talk to your doctor. Ask if you should do pelvic floor exercises (also called Kegel exercises). Exercises after childbirth can help prevent bladder problems in middle age.
Pregnancy and Pain

Pregnancy Problems

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