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Loss of urine due to pregnancy

  1. Losing urine accidentally during your pregnancy is a difficult and perhaps embarrassing ailment, but it is really not strange. About one in three pregnant women suffer from it. It can persist for a while after delivery. How did that happen? And can you do something about it?

  1. Unintentional loss of urine is also known as urinary incontinence. Although you have no urge, you will occasionally lose urine. The amount can vary from a few drops to a complete puddle.

Cause

  1. During the course of pregnancy, one third of women develop urinary incontinence, or pregnancy incontinence. That's because your muscles relax when you are pregnant due to certain hormones. This also applies to the muscles you use to hold your urine: the pelvic floor muscles and the bladder sphincter. In addition, the growing uterus and your baby presses on your bladder. Of course you also gain weight during pregnancy. Overweight women and women who gain more than 12 kilograms during pregnancy are more at risk of leakage of urine.

  2. In the course of pregnancy, one third of women develop urinary incontinence, or pregnancy incontinence. That's because your muscles relax when you are pregnant due to certain hormones. This also applies to the muscles you use to hold your urine: the pelvic floor muscles and the bladder sphincter. In addition, the growing uterus and your baby presses on your bladder. Of course you also gain weight during pregnancy. Overweight women and women who gain more than 12 kilograms during pregnancy are more at risk of leakage of urine.

How does the pelvic floor work?

  1. The pelvis is located at the bottom of your abdomen. The bottom of your pelvis consists of connective tissue and muscles, the pelvic floor. The pelvic floor holds your bladder, uterus and the last part of the bowel in place. It has openings for the urethra, the vagina and the end of the colon. The pelvic floor muscles are always slightly contracted and thus close the urethra and the intestine so that your urine and faeces hold up. When you cough, sneeze, lift something, or jump, the pressure in the abdomen goes up. The pelvic floor muscles then tighten extra, so that you do not lose urine. When you urinate and defecate, you should relax the pelvic floor muscles so that the urine and feces can leave your body. If the pelvic floor muscles and the urethra sphincter are weakened by pregnancy hormones, they cannot seal the urethra properly. During delivery, the pelvic floor muscles are also stretched and sometimes damaged. You can notice this with exertion, such as when you cough, laugh, jump or run. The pelvic floor muscles can then give too little counter pressure, causing you to lose urine.

  2. The pelvis is located at the bottom of your abdomen. The bottom of your pelvis consists of connective tissue and muscles, the pelvic floor. The pelvic floor holds your bladder, uterus and the last part of the bowel in place. It has openings for the urethra, the vagina and the end of the colon. The pelvic floor muscles are always slightly contracted and thus close the urethra and the intestine so that your urine and faeces hold up. When you cough, sneeze, lift something, or jump, the pressure in the abdomen goes up. The pelvic floor muscles then tighten extra, so that you do not lose urine. When urinating and defecating, you should relax the pelvic floor muscles so that the urine and feces can leave your body. If the pelvic floor muscles and the sphincter of the urethra are weakened by pregnancy hormones, they cannot seal the urethra properly. During delivery, the pelvic floor muscles are also stretched and sometimes damaged. You may notice this during exercise, such as when you cough, laugh, jump or run. The pelvic floor muscles can then give too little pressure, causing you to lose urine.

Treatment of pregnancy incontinence

  1. Urinary incontinence during or after your pregnancy is of course a nuisance. Research has shown that it affects how they feel in two-thirds of women. Both anger and depressive symptoms are common. Many women also experience it as an obstacle to sports, socializing and doing things outside the home Although it is difficult, leakage of urine is harmless. Urinary incontinence that develops during pregnancy usually resolves after delivery. The muscle tissue will naturally become firmer again. After six months, more than half of the women no longer have complaints. You can train your pelvic floor muscles: of the women who choose this, almost three quarters are free of complaints six months after giving birth. Strong pelvic floor muscles help reduce urine leakage, so you cannot start exercising with these muscles early enough. A few drops of urine can still be collected with a panty liner or sanitary napkin, but in case of heavier urine loss, this will not absorb enough. This can cause leakage or skin irritation. Then switch to containers intended for urinary incontinence. What you should definitely not do is drink less. Just try to get one and a half liters of fluids daily, drinking little on purpose does not help against urine loss.

  2. Urinary incontinence during or after your pregnancy is of course a nuisance. Research has shown that it affects how they feel in two-thirds of women. Both anger and depressive symptoms are common. Many women also experience it as an obstacle to sports, socializing and doing things outside the home Although it is difficult, leakage of urine is harmless. Urinary incontinence that develops during pregnancy usually resolves after delivery. The muscle tissue will naturally become firmer again. After six months, more than half of the women no longer have complaints. You can train your pelvic floor muscles: of the women who choose this, almost three quarters are free of complaints six months after giving birth. Strong pelvic floor muscles help reduce urine leakage, so you can't start exercising with these muscles early enough. A few drops of urine can still be collected with a panty liner or sanitary napkin, but in case of heavier urine loss, this will not absorb enough. This can cause leakage or skin irritation. Then switch to containers intended for urinary incontinence. What you should definitely not do is drink less. Just try to get one and a half liters of fluids daily, drinking little on purpose does not help against urine loss.

Urine or amniotic fluid?

  1. You may be unsure whether you are losing urine or amniotic fluid. Childbirth usually starts with contractions, but sometimes the membranes break first. You then lose moisture that you cannot stop. It can be a good amount, but your amniotic fluid can also leak out in small amounts. The difference between urine and amniotic fluid is clearly visible. Amniotic fluid is clear, transparent, thin as water, sometimes pink because it contains some blood and sometimes it contains flakes. Amniotic fluid can also be brown, green or yellow ocher, your baby will probably have defecated in the amniotic fluid. Amniotic fluid has a specific smell, which is described as sweet or wheezy. When in doubt, collect some amniotic fluid in a clear glass or sanitary napkin so that you can see the color better. The midwife can also test what kind of fluid it is.

  2. You may be unsure whether you are losing urine or amniotic fluid. Childbirth usually starts with contractions, but sometimes the membranes break first. You then lose moisture that you cannot stop. It can be a good amount, but your amniotic fluid can also leak out in small amounts. The difference between urine and amniotic fluid is clearly visible. Amniotic fluid is clear, transparent, thin as water, sometimes pink because it contains some blood and sometimes it contains flakes. Amniotic fluid can also be brown, green or yellow ocher, so your baby has probably defecated in the amniotic fluid. Amniotic fluid has a specific smell, which is described as sweet or wheezy. When in doubt, collect some amniotic fluid in a clear glass or sanitary napkin so that you can see the color better. The midwife can also test what kind of fluid it is.

To the doctor

  1. Will your urine leakage go away after delivery? Would you like to know more about how to train your pelvic floor muscles? Do not hesitate to ask your doctor for help. If necessary, you can refer them to a physiotherapist who specializes in pelvic floor complaints.



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