The changes your body goes through during pregnancy can be both wondrous and worrisome. If you’re experiencing unexpected urine leaks during or after pregnancy, don’t panic. There are things you can do to restore your bladder control and your self-confidence.
The Urology Specialist Group in Hialeah and Miami Lakes, Florida, offers on-site diagnostic testing services to evaluate the health of your pelvic floor organs. We also offer customized treatment plans to prevent urine leaks from affecting your quality of life.
Understanding urinary incontinence
Urinary incontinence is the inability to control urine flow. Typically, your bladder holds urine until it’s ready to leave your body through the urethra. As your bladder fills with urine, the bladder muscles relax to create space. Bladder sphincter muscles hold your bladder closed until you go to the bathroom.
When you have urinary incontinence, this process doesn’t work properly. You might experience urinary incontinence because of a pregnancy or childbirth. Other common causes of urinary incontinence in women include:
- Neurological disorders
- Urinary tract infections (UTI)
You can also develop urinary incontinence if you have tumors or other obstructions in your urinary tract. For this reason, you should seek a diagnostic evaluation at the Urology Specialist Group to prevent more serious complications.
Types of urinary incontinence
There are four types of urinary incontinence that our urologists can diagnose and treat.
Stress incontinence develops when too much pressure is placed on your bladder, such as during a pregnancy.
Urge incontinence causes a sudden and urgent need to urinate. You might not make it to the bathroom on time before urine starts leaking out.
Overflow incontinence occurs when you can’t fully empty your bladder when using the bathroom, allowing the leftover urine to leak out.
Functional incontinence describes a loss of bladder control that occurs because of physical or mental complications.
How pregnancy plays a role in urinary incontinence
Urinary incontinence is common in pregnancy because your baby grows a little every day and puts pressure on your bladder. This is especially true in your final weeks of pregnancy when even small sneezes and coughs can cause urine to leak out.
Childbirth is another factor that contributes to urinary incontinence. When you give birth, your pelvic floor muscles stretch out and weaken.
Since the pelvic floor muscles are responsible for keeping your bladder in place, you may experience more frequent urine leaks when they can no longer support your bladder or other pelvic floor organs.
Women are also at risk for pelvic organ prolapse, a condition that affects your bladder and other pelvic floor organs. When your pelvic muscles are too weak to support the organs, they can fall down into your vaginal canal and even protrude from your vagina.
Treatments for urinary incontinence
If you have urinary incontinence due to a pregnancy or childbirth, our urologists can design a treatment plan to reduce urine leaks and prevent prolapse and other complications.
To start, you may need to make lifestyle and diet changes to stop urine leaks. These changes can include:
- Avoiding caffeine and other stimulants
- Emptying your bladder on a set schedule
- Doing pelvic floor exercises
- Maintaining a healthy body weight
We also offer pelvic floor reconstruction surgery to repair the muscles that keep your bladder in place. During this type of surgery, our surgeons put your pelvic organs back into their original position and tighten your pelvic floor muscles to support the organs.
If you’re embarrassed by frequent or unexpected urine leaks, call the Urology Specialist Group office near you today or schedule a diagnostic evaluation online.