- Physio Services
- The ‘Aches and Pains’ of Pregnancy
- Understanding Pregnancy – Low Back & Pelvic Girdle Pain
- Exercise in Pregnancy
- Video – Early Postnatal Body Care
- Returning to Running Postnatally
- Sex after childbirth
- Bladders and Bowels
- Vaginal Prolapse
- Further Resources for Reading
- Video – Pelvic Floor Exercises
Bladders and Bowels
- 1 in 3 women leak urine from their bladders at some time in their lives. This number increases in pregnancy (more than 1 in 2) as well as after delivery.
- As many as 45% of women still experience urinary leaking up to 5 years after birth.
Types of bladder and bowel problems may include:
- Stress Incontinence: Unwanted leaking of urine from the bladder with coughing, sneezing, laughing, lifting your baby, as you exercise or sometimes during sex.
- Overactive bladder: A feeling of bladder urgency, often leading to frequently emptying your bladder during the day and wakening to empty more than once during the night.
- Urgency Incontinence: Unwanted leaking of urine associated with a sudden overwhelming desire to empty your bladder.
- Mixed Urinary Incontinence: A mixed component of both stress and urge incontinence with one component often being more dominant.
- Faecal Urgency: A sudden overwhelming desire to empty your bowel
- Faecal incontinence: Unwanted loss of liquid or solid stool or gas from the bowel
Even though these symptoms are common, they are not ‘normal’ and should not be put up with. Physiotherapy is the first line of treatment for bladder or bowel control problems according to recent international guidelines.
Your GP, PHN or hospital team can refer you to Physiotherapy in UHG anytime during pregnancy and up to 3 months after your baby is born.
Pelvic Floor Muscle exercises are easy to perform and when done alongside other lifestyle changes, are proven to cure symptoms of incontinence in up to 75% of women.
Other lifestyle changes may include weight loss, constipation management, reducing lifting and changes to fluid intake.
Physiotherapy treatments include pelvic floor muscle rehabilitation, advice and education, bladder retraining, biofeedback and manual therapy and electrical stimulation.