Are you doing your pelvic floor muscle exercises? Not to scare you mums- to-be, but Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) is the most common form of incontinence affecting women right after they give birth.
This form of leakage from the bladder can occur after increased intra-abdominal pressure such as coughing, sneezing, laughing or exercise. Vaginal birth is one of the main causes of SUI due to stretching or trauma to the vagina and the surrounding soft tissue. Dr Anthony Rixon, cosmetic physician at enRich Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery Clinic gives his top tips on how to deal with the problem should it occur:
PELVIC FLOOR EXERCISES: Kegel exercises and vaginal cones or weights are commonly used for mild SUI. By doing the exercises throughout your pregnancy, you can strengthen
the muscles and help reduce or avoid stress incontinence after birth. However, they do require motivation to do them repeatedly every day, so try and geti nto the habit early.
SEE YOUR DOCTOR: Seek the advice of a medical professional, as a detailed history and examination are required to work out the type of incontinence and identify any exacerbating factors such as urinary tract infection, medications and certain medical problems.
DIET: Coffee and alcohol can irritate your bladder, so try to avoid them. Eating more fibre can prevent constipation, which is also a cause of urinary incontinence.
LASER TIGHTENING: This new non-invasive method, with the Juliet Erbium Laser device, can achieve great results with only one to two treatments. It’s quick (20 minutes), less painful than a PAP smear and very safe. It has been shown to improve the quality of life in the vast majority of cases.