The Causes of Urinary Incontinence During Pregnancy


Urinary incontinence during pregnancy is the most common urological problem. This condition manifests itself with urge to urinate frequently, leaking urine when coughing and sneezing during pregnancy, and inability to get to the toilet.

However, this is not a problem easily discussed by women. Most pregnant women do not tell a doctor about urinary incontinence during pregnancy. The reason for this may be abstention or shame.

Urinary incontinence during pregnancy is a health problem and should be consulted a doctor. During pregnancy, the majority of pregnant women usually have urinary incontinence.

Urinary incontinence during pregnancy may be mild and infrequent for some pregnant women, while it may manifest itself in a more severe form. Incontinence may persist or disappear after pregnancy.

Urge incontinence: It is a status of inability to hold urine until getting to the toilet. Sometimes, urge incontinence may arise due to affected bladder wall as a result of urinary tract infections. But there is no cause in most patients.

Stress incontinence: It is the condition of urinary incontinence during pregnancy during activities increasing the intraabdominal pressure such as coughing, sneezing and laughing. It occurs due to the fact the sphincter, located between the bladder and the urethra cannot perform its functions adequately.

Urinary incontinence during pregnancy, the rate of blood passing through the kidney and filtered increases during pregnancy. Accordingly, the rate of urine increases.

All these reasons urge the patient to urinate frequently.

The expanding uterus pushes the bladder upwards and backwards. Besides that, the amount of progesterone hormone secreted during pregnancy increases.

Increased progesterone hormone causes the relaxation of the sphincter located between the bladder and the urethra.

As the risk of urinary tract infections is higher during pregnancy, the bladder wall becomes sensitive and when it is contracted, urine leaks.

In addition to that, overweight pregnant women, or those who previously delivered multiple times or gave birth to babies weighing above 3.5-4 kilogram are more likely to develop urinary incontinence.

Urine culture and antibiogram should be performed on pregnant women with urinary incontinence problems during pregnancy. These procedures allow to determine the presence of urinary tract infection.

Urinary Incontinence During Pregnancy  

If infection is present, it should be treated. Some physiological changes occur during pregnancy. Because of these changes, other urological test may be postponed until 6 weeks after delivery.

Again, surgical treatment during pregnancy is never recommended by specialists in the first place.

If the person has gained excess weight during pregnancy, losing this weight after delivery is important in terms of prevention of recurrence of urinary incontinence problem.

If urinary incontinence complaints persist, but no infection is present, clinical and laboratory tests to determine the type of urinary incontinence should be studied.

Urinary incontinence during pregnancy, the selection of treatment is made based on all these evaluations and the type of urinary incontinence during pregnancy.

If the patient has mild incontinence, working the perineal muscles by doing Kegel is the first recommendation to be given.

After Kegel exercise, the person’s urinary incontinence complaints during pregnancy considerably reduce. This exercise done for 6 weeks after delivery is the most important measure to be taken in order to prevent further problems.

If the person’s urinary incontinence problem persists despite all these treatment methods, it is attempted to repair the impaired anatomy of the urethra with an operation which takes 20-30 minutes and in which the patient is discharged on the same day.

The success rate achieved after the surgery is above 90%.

Urinary incontinence during pregnancy can be caused by 

  • Multiple delivery
  • Giving birth to a big baby
  • Delivery with intervention
  • Damage to the nerves controlling the bladder,
  • Damage to the urethra and bladder during pregnancy,
  • Episiotomy,
  • An improper incision made on the pelvic floor muscles for easier delivery of the fetus
  • Constipation
  • Obesity
  • Pulmonary diseases such as emphysema, asthma, chronic bronchitis.

How is Kegel Exercise Done? Kegel Egzersizi Nasıl Uygulanır?

Urinary incontinence during pregnancy, Kegel exercises are easy exercises that can be done at any time and in any place.

However, people need to understand to contract the correct muscles to do these exercises.

Urinary incontinence during pregnancy, stopping to urinate during urination will guide you which muscles you need to work to do the exercise.

The muscles you contract to hold urine or gas are the muscles you need to contract to do Kegel exercise. An example of this is to contract the muscles to prevent a pad on the vagina from dropping.

Urinary incontinence during pregnancy  

These muscles are the muscles used for Kegel exercise. Kegel exercise can be done at any time and in any place. It can be done while ironing, sitting and watching television.

The Kegel exercise program starts with 25 contractions three times a day.

In each contraction, it is counted up to ten, and every week the number of these contractions can be increased by adding 25. Following 4 weeks, 100 contractions are done 3 times a day. Although these numbers discourage the person, it is very easy.

When should pregnant women with urinary incontinence problem consult a doctor?

If the mother still has bladder complaints six weeks after delivery, she should consult her doctor. Urinary incontinence may also be caused by a different health problem.

Urinary incontinence during pregnancy, urinary incontinence problem should be treated immediately. If it is not, it may confront the person by becoming a long-term problem.

Is normal delivery a factor that increases the likelihood of urinary incontinence?

Urinary incontinence during pregnancy is a problem that women encounter more commonly than men.

The number of deliveries, difficult normal delivery, menopause, previous vaginal operations, excess weight gain, and smoking increase the likelihood of encountering this condition.

Therefore, women should be careful in this regard. It is an issue that should be given enough attention and it is necessary to take measures.

Normal delivery increases the risk of urinary incontinence more than cesarean section. For this reason, most pregnant women do not prefer normal delivery just because of this reason.

However, it is not likely for every woman who has normal delivery to experience this condition. The bladder normally moves downwards during sneezing and coughing.

Urinary incontinence during pregnancy, the factor that prevents the bladder from moving downwards is a structure, called supportive muscular tissue.

The muscles provide the bladder to remain stable can be ruptured or damaged due to the active forces of labor.

This may also cause the person to have difficulties in controlling the bladder.

People may leak urine with unexpected contractions. This condition affects many people’s social life quite negatively.

For this reason, women confront with this as a problem that is desired to be treated as soon as possible.


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