Postnatal Care

Incontinence After Pregnancy and Childbirth

Feel Confident. Be Empowered in Your Care.

Postpartum incontinence is very common among birthing parents. However, we understand that it doesn’t make the condition any less embarrassing or uncomfortable. Many new parents often find themselves in situations they may not have expected such as releasing a little urine when coughing or sneezing or experiencing a sudden and intense need to urinate.

The good news is that there are effective and safe treatments, and you don’t need to suffer in silence.

The Pelvic Health After Pregnancy Clinic treats birthing parents experiencing urinary incontinence (along with other conditions, including prolapse and fecal incontinence. Our fellowship-trained physicians underwent an additional three years of training and education to give them the knowledge and insight to treat your symptoms with compassion and understanding.

Understanding Postpartum Urinary Incontinence

Postpartum urinary incontinence refers to difficulty controlling urination up to one year after giving birth. As your body makes room for a growing baby and progresses through the stages of labor and delivery, the muscles in the pelvic floor (the area between the tailbone and pubic bone that supports the bowel, bladder, uterus and vagina) stretch and become weaker.

After childbirth, the uterus will shrink back to size which puts pressure on the bladder. Additionally, hormone changes can also impact the ability to control urination after childbirth.Other risk factors for postpartum urinary incontinence include smoking, obesity and genetics.And, a vaginal delivery can lead to a higher risk of experiencing urinary incontinence, compared to a cesarean section.

There are three types of urinary incontinence, but the most common postpartum incontinence is stress incontinence. Putting sudden pressure on the bladder, such as laughing, coughing, sneezing or jumping, can cause urine to leak from the bladder and urethra or create a sudden, intense urge to urinate.

(Many women also experience urinary incontinence later in life. The Pelvic Health After Pregnancy Clinic focuses on care up to one year after childbirth.

Postpartum Incontinence Treatments

Fortunately, there are many treatment options to help manage and control urinary incontinence as your muscles heal and strengthen after childbirth. Those include:

  • Kegel exercises. These exercises target and strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which gives you better control of urination.
  • Lifestyle changes. Small adjustments to your daily diet such as cutting back on coffee, citrus, spicy foods and citrus can help reduce episodes of incontinence. Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight and regular exercise can also help control symptoms.
  • Neuromodulation therapy. Small electrical impulses sent to the muscles that control the bladder and the pelvic floor can help retrain your body and brain to reduce your symptoms.
  • Physical therapy. A physical therapist can share specific exercises, in addition to Kegel exercises, that also strengthen and tighten the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles.
  • Surgery. There are many types of minimally invasive surgery that can be discussed if conservative therapy doesn’t improve your symptoms.

We realize everyone’s medical condition is unique and depending on your circumstance, you may be a candidate for other therapies. Your provider will work with you on the best treatment plan.

Request an Appointment

If you’re experiencing postpartum urinary incontinence, please don’t hesitate to connect with one of our experienced pelvic-floor medicine and reconstructive surgery specialists. We’ll work together to understand your condition and create a plan that gets your symptoms under control. Call 404-778-3401 or request an appointment online to get started.