After a woman’s body has experienced childbirth, she may notice a lot of changes to her body. Some may be positive, and others may be a little more uncomfortable, embarrassing, and downright annoying.
One of these unpleasant, yet sometimes unavoidable post-pregnancy conditions is stress urinary incontinence.
Despite its name, stress urinary incontinence has nothing to do with psychological or mental stress. Here, stress refers to the pressure put on the bladder during some sort of physical movement which then causes an unintentional loss of urine. This health condition is much more common in women than men, mainly because childbirth is a main cause. Stress incontinence happens as a result of the weakening of muscles or tissues in the body that support the bladder and regulate the release of urine. When a woman gives birth naturally, there is a chance of tissue or nerve damage that can cause poor function of the pelvic floor muscles or the sphincter. Stress urinary incontinence can also be seen in women who have delivered their children by cesarean as well.
Women who have stress urinary incontinence may experience leakage during activities such as exercise and sexual intercourse, and even simple movements such as standing up, coughing, sneezing or laughing. The condition can become worse if you are a smoker, since that causes excessive coughing, or if you have an illness that causes chronic coughing and sneezing. Obesity can also worsen stress urinary incontinence, as can any kind of high-impact activity.
Some women will experience stress incontinence right after delivery, and others may not until much later. Either way, it can have a drastic effect on a woman’s self-esteem, as well as their work and social life. If your symptoms affect your daily life, it is strongly advised to speak with a doctor. Dr. Ghea, a female obgyn in Fort Lauderdale, is available to talk with you about your personal experience with stress urinary incontinence, and will offer her best women’s health tips regarding how to treat it.
There are various medications and surgeries that can help alleviate stress urinary incontinence, but there are plenty of natural remedies for treating stress urinary incontinence too, such as the following:
- Do kegel exercises, which flex the same muscles used to stop urinary flow.
- Start a fitness regimen to get rid of any excess belly fat, which can put pressure on the bladder and pelvic muscles.
- Make sure you are getting enough magnesium, a mineral that helps with muscle and nerve function, and vitamin D, which studies show can reduce the risk of incontinence.
- If you’re a smoker, quit. Now. All that unnecessary coughing is not helping.
- Try acupuncture, as it can help with balancing out the body as whole.
- Cut out caffeine (or at the very least, cut back). It’s a diuretic that can contribute to bladder irritation and stimulate muscle contractions, which can cause incontinence.
- Drink lots of water. Staying hydrated will help you go to the bathroom on a regular basis, and keep you from getting constipated, which can cause incontinence.
If you are suffering from stress urinary incontinence and looking for treatment advice from an obgyn in Plantation, Dr. Ghea is here to help. Appointments can be made with her at Westside OB/GYN Group, a Plantation obgyn office, by calling 954-473-2011.