In this article you will learn
It happens when you sneeze, cough, or laugh out loud. It can also happen when you have to lift or carry something heavy. Most people only drop a few droplets, but some lose a larger amount.
We are talking about bladder weakness during pregnancy.
Bladder weakness during pregnancy
Pregnancy is something wonderful, unique and not for nothing called “wonder of nature”. A new person is growing in your body, which is noticeable through the growing belly and the sometimes surprising kicks.
And many things are also happening in secret in your body that will accompany you and your baby until birth. Some side effects of these hidden processes will bother you to a greater or lesser extent during pregnancy.
It happens when you sneeze, cough or laugh out loud. It can also happen when you have to lift or carry something heavy. Most people only drop a few droplets, but some also lose a larger amount.
We are talking about bladder weakness during pregnancy.
However, this type of incontinence is still a taboo subject, although almost every second pregnant woman is affected. We want to show you the causes of bladder weakness during pregnancy, what symptoms occur, when it becomes dangerous for you and your baby, and what you can do to prevent pregnancy-related incontinence.
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What are the causes of incontinence during pregnancy?
First of all, regardless of pregnancy, muscle mass throughout the body decreases after the age of 20. This also applies to the pelvic floor, which supports the sphincter muscle of your urethra and prevents urine from escaping uncontrollably. But not only the age of those affected is decisive, but also the general condition of your pelvic floor. Incontinence is also genetically predisposed in many women and occurs particularly severely during pregnancy.
But not only age-related or genetic causes lead to bladder weakness during pregnancy.
During this special time, the hormones estrogen and progesterone play a major role. Among other things, they ensure that the muscles in your pelvis stretch and soften to create space for the growing baby and to make the upcoming birth easier.
As a result, the muscles in the pelvic floor can no longer hold the urine securely and a few drops keep escaping. In extreme cases, those affected may also lose large amounts of urine at once.
When do the symptoms of bladder weakness appear during pregnancy?
In the first trimester of pregnancy, many women report a strong urge to urinate. This is because the kidneys are particularly well supplied with blood at the beginning of pregnancy and produce more urine accordingly. Above all, pregnant women now have to get up at night to relieve themselves; even if they were exempt from nightly visits to the toilet before pregnancy.
In the second trimester, the increased urge to urinate returns to a normal level because the uterus is now spreading upwards. This gives the bladder space again and reduces the pressure on the sphincter muscle of your urethra. It's not for nothing that the second trimester of pregnancy is considered the most beautiful, since most of the symptoms are virtually non-existent during this time and many women feel particularly well during these months.
In the last trimester, however, the constant urge to urinate returns. The baby is now very large and has gained quite a bit of weight. It has usually slipped deeper into the pelvis to prepare for the approaching birth. These factors increase the pressure on the bladder again and, as at the beginning of pregnancy, women now have to go to the toilet more often at night.
When should you see a doctor ?
An increased urge to urinate during pregnancy is completely normal and nothing to worry about. Even the resulting slight and temporary incontinence is no reason to see a doctor immediately.
However, there are moments when a visit to the doctor is unavoidable and you should definitely listen to your body's warning signals. It is not for nothing that it often sends you clear instructions, especially during pregnancy, when you need a little more rest and relaxation. You should be just as careful if your body gives you unmistakable warning signals when urinating that something is wrong.
If you experience the following symptoms, you should see your doctor immediately and have yourself examined and treated for a possible bladder infection :
If you have to go to the toilet more often than usual and only a few droplets come out despite a strong urge to urinate, you should definitely pay attention. Especially if this little urine is accompanied by burning and pain when urinating, or if you even find blood in the urine, a doctor's visit is urgently needed.
A bladder infection is treated with antibiotics and the symptoms subside within a few days (if this is not the case, you need to see your doctor again!).
An untreated bladder infection also harbors dangers for your unborn child. If such an infection is not treated during pregnancy, there is a risk of premature labor, which can then lead to premature birth or miscarriage.
You should also consult your doctor, albeit months after the birth and after the conscientiously performed exercises from your rehabilitation course, there is still no improvement in your incontinence in sight. Medicine can often help here in order to be able to laugh carefree again.
What can you do if you have incontinence during pregnancy?
There are panty liners and pads that are specially designed for bladder weakness, which you wear in your panties like conventional pads can. In addition, you can go to the toilet more often than necessary and empty your bladder in order to keep the amount of urine that flows out to a minimum.
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Even if it's often difficult for those affected: don't reduce the amount you drink!
Both your body and your baby need enough liquid. Drink as much as you feel thirsty and don't let your bladder weakness stop you from having an extra glass of water.
But the best answer to countering incontinence is still: exercise and sport!
With light sporting activities such as swimming, cycling, hiking and walking, you can gently train your pelvic floor and reduce the effects of bladder weakness. Make sure that you address as many muscle groups as possible with a mixture of strength and endurance training and strengthen them evenly.
Targeted exercises to strengthen your lower region are also helpful to prevent or alleviate incontinence. We offer you various training plans that are perfectly tailored to pregnant women, with which you can keep your entire body fit. The special training plans for expectant mothers strengthen your muscles, keep you fit and prevent back pain, which is not uncommon during pregnancy.
We also recommend our yoga program to counteract incontinence and your muscles in a gentle way.
Have a look at our website www.pregfit.de and test our program for 7 days free of charge!