Dr. Sobol Answers Your Questions Part 2

  • Question from Patient:
    I just had a baby and am having urinary incontinence. How long will this last?


    Many women begin to experience stress urinary incontinence in the last few months of pregnancy for a couple of reasons. First of all, the ligaments and joints begin to relax in order for the baby to pass more easily through the vagina. In addition to that, the weight of the baby causes increased pressure on the bladder. Because of the relaxation of the urethral support and the added pressure, some women will leak urine in the last few months of pregnancy.

    Urinary incontinence after childbirth is very common because the pelvic muscles have been stretched and injured from the delivery. It takes time for this to improve, but it actually may never resolve completely.
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    The best thing you can do is to perform Kegel exercises. These exercises are when an individual contracts and relax the pelvic muscles. Many people do not do these correctly. The best time to practice is when an individual is urinating to try to stop the urine stream. Once a person knows how it feels, you can do them anywhere. I often tell people to do the exercises when stopped at a light in the car, in line at the grocery or during commercials when watching television.

    I expect that it may improve within 3-6 months, especially if the Kegel exercises are done. If the incontinence continues after 6 months, I would definitely discuss this with your OB/Gyn.

    “Important: We hope you find this general medical and health information useful, but this Q&A is meant to support not replace the professional medical advice you receive from your doctor. For all personal medical and health matters, including decisions about diagnoses, medications and other treatment options, you should always consult your doctor. See full Disclaimer
Published On: September 13, 2006