“I am several months post-partum and I’m still having troubling with leakage problems. I’ve heard about exercise weights that I can use to tone my vaginal muscles. Can you tell me more about these weights?”
What you’re referring to are vaginal weights, or vaginal cones. These weights are small plastic cones that are graduated in size with a string at the end. They’re inserted and removed from your vagina, like a tampon.
“I am several weeks post-partum and I’m having trouble controlling my bladder. I’ve heard about exercises I can do but I’m not sure what they are. Can you please help me?”
Many women who experience pregnancy and childbirth will also experience some type of urinary incontinence. This is caused by several factors, including excessive weight gain, pressure from the developing baby and strain from pushing during birth. Some women may leak without any warning, while others will unexpectedly wet themselves when they sneeze, laugh or do some sort of physical activity (stress incontinence). In most cases, the loss of bladder control is temporary, lasting several weeks to several months.
With all the talk of Kate Middleton and the royal baby (it’s a boy!), I thought it’d be appropriate to revisit the topic of incontinence after giving birth.
As many as 70% of women will experience bladder leakage, or stress incontinence, during or after pregnancy. You may unexpectedly leak urine while sneezing, laughing, coughing, exercising, or doing anything that puts pressure onto your bladder. Some women will let out just a few drops, while the less fortunate ones may completely wet their pants.
Stress incontinence after pregnancy can be caused by several things:
“Recently, I’ve been leaking urine, which has led me to wear bladder pads! I’ve heard that women who had babies often have bladder problems, but I’ve never been pregnant before. What is wrong with me?”
Although it’s common for women to experience bladder leakage after pregnancy and childbirth, it doesn’t mean that women who have never been pregnant are in the clear. Bladder control problems can occur unexpectedly at any age, whether or not you’ve had a baby.
Women are more likely to experience urinary incontinence (UI), prolapse, and fecal incontinence 20 years after one vaginal delivery compared to one caesarean section, according to new research published in a thesis from Sahlgrenska Academy at Gothenburg University in Sweden.
Conducted in 2008, the SWEPOP (Swedish Pregnancy, Obesity, and Pelvic floor) study examined the damages of pelvic floor function, specifically symptomatic pelvic organ prolapse (sPOP) and urinary incontinence (UI), in women 20 years after giving one birth through vaginal delivery or cesarean section. The thesis, which appeared in last month’s An Incontinence Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (BJOG), used data obtained from the Swedish Medical Birth Register of women who had delivered only one child in 1985-1988 and had no other children.