1. How common is urinary leakage (UI) during pregnancy?
40% of women suffer from urinary leakage during pregnancy. They experience UI in the third trimester but can start as early as 12 weeks. This is due to hormonal change and increased intra-abdominal pressure from the growing baby, which strains your pelvic floor muscles.
2. Should I be concerned if I am experiencing incontinence during pregnancy?
While UI is not life-threatening, it impacts on quality of life and is socially embarrassing. In addition, women who have leakage during pregnancy are more likely to suffer UI after delivery or later in life.
3. What is my risk for UI after childbirth?
Childbirth can cause UI with 40-50% prevalence. Risk factors are assisted delivery (forceps/vacuum), high body mass index (BMI)>30, baby’s birth weight of >4000g, and prolonged labour.
4. What are pelvic floor exercises?
All women regardless of birth methods (even C-section) benefits from pelvic floor exercises. Pelvic floor work-out helps regain your bladder, bowel health and re-establish your good posture, core strength, and sexual health.
5. When can I perform the pelvic floor exercise after delivery?
You may start as soon as 2 weeks after delivery. However, if you are experiencing pain and have sustained swelling or sutures around the perineum, best to delay your exercise and consult your doctor or women’s health physiotherapist for advice.
6. Is it easy to perform the pelvic floor exercises?
Many women perform the exercise incorrectly. Common mistakes are breath holding, squeezing the abdomen or clenching their buttocks. Consulting a physiotherapist who specializes in pelvic floor rehabilitation who guides you with the correct technique. Real-time ultrasound imaging as well as adjunct treatment such as kegel ball and electrical stimulation device can enhance your recovery.