|Since the baby was born, I dread sneezing or any physical
exertion because it causes me to wet my panties. It is so
embarrassing. Will it always be like this from now on?
This is a problem that is caused mainly by the stress
that labour and delivery place on the muscles and tissues
around the bladder. Unfortunately it is likely to get worse
with each delivery. The pelvic area endures tremendous pressure
during pregnancy, and this is intensified during the labour.
The weakened muscles and tissues are subsequently unable
to withstand the stress of activities such as sneezing or
intense exercise. The resulting leakage is very troubling
for many women, and it may be worth routinely wearing a
sanitary towel while you try and strengthen this area again.
There are a few things you can do to improve
the situation, and the most helpful one is doing your Kegels
exercises. See the section on Kegels for more information . It is worth your while to make a concerted
effort to do these exercises several times a day, starting
with a few each time and building up. It can take a few
months to feel the difference, so don’t be despondent,
and do persevere. This really is the best way to improve
the situation, and having strong muscles in this area is
excellent for your overall health.
In addition to being rigorous with your Kegels exercises,
you need to consider a few factors. Being overweight puts
extra pressure on the pelvic area, so this is another reason
why you should be careful about your diet and do a bit of
extra exercise, in order to lose weight slowly, if you are
carrying extra kilos. You diet has more effect on your bladder
than you realise, so start to take note of whether things
like spicy foods and coffee aggravate the problem. It may
be worth eliminating caffeine, alcohol and spicy foods completely
for a short time and see if that helps. The other offender
in causing bladder irritation is nicotine – so here
is another reason to stop smoking!
With the busy life we lead, women in general are guilty
of waiting too long to go to the toilet. Get in the habit
of being in touch with your body, and noticing the first
signs that you need to go to the toilet. By doing this you
reduce the stress that your bladder experiences, allowing
it to heal and strengthen more easily, and also reducing
the amount of urine available to leak out at any given moment.
It is also worth a trip to the doctor to discuss this problem.
There are systems available that speed up the action of
the Kegels – using weights or electrical stimulation,
and your doctor would be the best person to guide you in
this regard. If you have been religiously doing your Kegels
for several months, and have modified your diet and still
suffering from stress incontinence, your doctor may consider
whether you are a good candidate for surgery to help you.