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Is Overactive Bladder Normal After Birth?

When you were pregnant, you probably found yourself using the bathroom frequently, especially as your baby grew larger and put more pressure on your bladder. Maybe you’re noticing that this common issue doesn’t necessarily end just because you deliver.

Dr. Neeraj Kohli at Boston Urogyn understands the impact that bladder issues can have on your life. As a national and international leader in urogynecology and reconstructive pelvic surgery, he can identify what’s causing your urinary incontinence and offer innovative treatments to help.

Understanding incontinence

There are several kinds of urinary incontinence. Two of the most common types associated with pregnancy are stress incontinence and overactive bladder

Stress incontinence

Stress incontinence develops when you have increased pressure on your bladder. This can be due to your growing baby or from actions like coughing, laughing, or sneezing.

Overactive bladder

Overactive bladder typically causes an intense and urgent need to go. This issue usually occurs because your bladder muscles begin flexing and contracting involuntarily. 

Approximately 54% of pregnant women have urinary incontinence symptoms that hinder their quality of life, both physically and emotionally. And, at least 7 million new mothers continue to struggle with bladder control issues, even after an uneventful pregnancy and delivery.

Pregnancy, childbirth, and incontinence

When you go through pregnancy and childbirth, several things can lead to incontinence problems, including:

You also experience specific hormonal changes that prepare your body for childbirth. These changes, which are important because they increase the elasticity of your joints and tissues, also reduce bladder support. 

For many women, urinary incontinence issues resolve within a year of childbirth. However, 30-50% report still having unwanted urinary leakage five years after delivery. 

Treating overactive bladder and incontinence issues

Just because bladder issues are a normal part of pregnancy, you don’t have to continue to endure it. Dr. Kohli offers numerous solutions based on the severity of your symptoms.

During your appointment, Dr. Kohli performs a full physical exam to identify the specific cause of your incontinence issues. To treat problems like overactive bladder, he often recommends:

In addition to medical interventions for urinary incontinence, Dr. Kohli often makes lifestyle and behavioral recommendations as well. These approaches often include tracking your diet and fluid intake, addressing weight management issues, and undergoing bladder training. For severe incontinence cases, Dr. Kohli could suggest surgery. 

To find help for your post-pregnancy overactive bladder and incontinence issues, visit one of our convenient locations in Wellesley or South Weymouth, Massachusetts. Give us a call at Boston Urogyn, send us a message here on our website, or request an appointment using our convenient online feature.

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