Have you ever heard a woman talk about how she experiences a small “leak” when laughing, sneezing, or coughing after childbirth? Perhaps you have experienced this yourself. What you or the person experiencing these “little accidents” should know is that this disorder can be cured. In fact, the cure rate is 80% to be exact.
Pregnancy is an exciting time for women but also can be very stressful. This stress is not limited to mental and emotional implications of pregnancy but physical stress on a woman’s pelvic floor. This localized stress can cause incontinence due to pelvic floor dysfunction resulting in leaking urine (urinary incontinence), leaking gas and/or feces (bowel incontinence), or, at the most extreme, organ prolapse. As the fetus grows, the increasing weight pushes on a woman’s bladder leading to frequent trips to the restroom, pain, and/or leaking when coughing, sneezing, and walking.
The weight of the baby is not the only cause for these symptoms. During pregnancy a woman’s connective tissue becomes more flexible which allows her belly to grow. This causes decreased stability of the pelvis and adjoining muscles/tissue in preparation to pass the baby through the birthing canal. The weakened pelvic floor can also cause low back pain, SI joint dysfunction, pelvic pain, and hip pain at the time of pregnancy or in the years that follow.
These negative side effects of pregnancy can be prevented and cured through simple, easy to perform pelvic floor exercises. In fact, these exercises can be performed before, during, and after pregnancy to help prevent and/or remedy unfortunate, embarrassing or even painful effects of childbirth. Check out our website for more information www.missoulaboneandjoint.com
Please note that no pain or leaking is normal at any stage in a woman’s lifetime. Your local women’s health physical therapist will be an excellent resource for any challenges you encounter. So the next time you find yourself in a conversation about a “little accident,” remember, it can be cured!
You don’t have to “pee your pants” when you run, walk or laugh – it can be cured!
Written by Lauren Hasquet , DPT – Physical Therapist at Missoula Bone and Joint Physical Therapy – specializing in women’s health physical therapy.
Call today to schedule your appointment (406)542-4702