Is bladder control a problem after delivery? (Pregnancy query)

Also, find out how you can regain bladder control.

I am 8 months pregnant. I heard that you have no bladder control after vaginal delivery. Is it true?

Query answered by gynaecologist Dr Aundhati Dhar

The accidental leaking that you experience when you laugh, cry, cough or exercise after vaginal delivery is stress incontinence and is one of the most common problems faced by new mums. Bladder control tends to decrease after childbirth, and it is entirely normal if you have reduced bladder control in the first few days after giving birth. Stress incontinence is common among women who have birthed naturally or have undergone some degree of trauma during labour. That being said, women who have a planned C-section or an emergency one are not always spared this annoyance. They too might suffer from some degree of incontinence after the delivery. Also, if you had an epidural, the nerves controlling feelings around your bladder may start to feel numb. So for the first few days after delivery, you may not be able to tell when you need to pee. However, within six weeks to three months after birth, you will see the effects reversing. Sometimes this can linger for months and stay there for long. So it is best that you talk to your doctor to find some help. Here are other ways pregnancy changes your body that nobody tells you about.

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Tips to deal with stress incontinence

To regain bladder control, pelvic floor exercises can help. Strengthening your pelvic floor muscles will help you regain control over your bladder so make sure that you practice them daily. A simple solution is to use maternity pads to help keep your undergarments from getting damp or wet, as that can again give rise to infections in the vaginal area. Always use the restroom as soon as you feel the urge so that you don t leak profusely. In extreme cases, surgery is suggested to counter the problem. Keep in mind that although surgery can give you relief from the condition, it also has its set of shortcomings, so get a thorough diagnosis done before you opt for one.

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