Pregnancy comes with many new symptoms as your body changes to accommodate your baby. One thing you might go through is leaking urine during pregnancy.
While this can be embarrassing, pregnancy incontinence is very common and is nothing to be ashamed of. More importantly, you might experience bladder pains during pregnancy or feel pressure on the bladder. If you find yourself visiting the bathroom frequently during pregnancy, read on to learn about what you can do to find some relief.
What Is Pregnancy Incontinence?
Pregnancy incontinance is bladder dysfunction that occurs during or because of a pregnancy. You might leak urine or be unable to hold your urine for as long as you used to. You might wake up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom when you didn’t need to before or find yourself doing “the potty dance” right alongside your toddler.
When you are pregnant, your growing baby encroaches on the space your bladder used to occupy. Pressure on bladder pregnant or not will make you feel like you need to urinate. Some women experience leaking urine during pregnancy from early on in the first or second trimester. This is because of the hormonal changes that take place during pregnancy. Thankfully, there are treatment options the team at MonaLisa Touch can provide to restore your confidence.
Two Types Of Pregnancy Incontinance
There are two main types of urinary incontinence: stress and urge incontinence. Both types can occur during pregnancy. Pregnancy incontinence can also look like a mix of these types. Let’s take a look at what the differences are so you can understand what you are experiencing.
Stress Incontinence During Pregnancy:
Stress incontinence includes when you leak urine during activities that put stress on your bladder. It might be when you sneeze, when you cough or laugh, or during exercise like jogging. Because pregnancy weakens the muscles that support your pelvic, these symptoms can last long after you give birth.
Urge Incontinence During Pregnancy:
Urge incontinence includes any time you feel you need to urinate but can’t get to the restroom in time – even if you only have a small amount of urine in your bladder. You may have little or no warning before you experience urge incontinence which can make it very upsetting. In pregnancy, you might experience urge incontinence because your bladder is irritated and inflamed.
What Causes Leaking Urine During Pregnancy?
Your baby isn’t the only thing putting pressure on your bladder pregnant. Pregnancy stretches and weakens the muscles that support your bladder. Other changes cause your pelvic floor muscles to loosen throughout pregnancy.
One such change is the increased production of the hormone Relaxin. This hormone makes it possible for your uterus to grow and blood vessels to provide nutrients to your baby.
At the end of your pregnancy, Relaxin will help your pelvis open so you can give birth. Unfortunately, Relaxin also weakens your control over your bladder and urethra. These changes cause the bladder to drop down and press against your other organs. This irritates the bladder and causes frequent urges to urinate. When you consider that pregnancy has also weakened your urethra muscles, you can see why leaking urine during pregnancy is common. Pregnancy incontinance sometimes comes with bladder pains. Read on for some information about this symptom.
Bladder Pains During Pregnancy
Not only is your baby putting pressure on your bladder, your little one is interfering with your whole urinary tract and your nervous system. This is why you might feel pelvic discomfort and pain in your bladder – even if you just went to the bathroom. Your bladder is underneath your uterus, but the nervous system connections to the bladder are behind the uterus. When these nerves are compressed, the signals get mixed up. You might feel bladder pains in pregnancy even though you are using the restroom very frequently.
Relief from Pressure On Bladder Pregnant
To treat bladder pains during pregnancy, you will need help from a doctor. Pain in your lower abdomen or during urination can be caused by pressure on bladder pregnant, but it can also be referred pain from another issue. You should have a doctor check whether you have a urinary tract infection or a more severe condition such as a kidney infection.
If you are truly experiencing simple bladder pains during pregnancy, you can try some simple lifestyle changes to find relief. These changes include:
– Reducing your caffeine intake
– Cutting down on carbonated drinks
– Increasing dietary fiber intake
– Pelvic floor exercises
– Using the bathroom at regular intervals throughout the day
If these changes don’t relieve your symptoms and your doctor has cleared you of other underlying issues, contact MonaLisa Touch for help.
How To Reduce Pregnancy Incontinence
Leaking urine doesn’t have to be your new normal. The first step in treating pregnancy incontinance is to speak to a medical professional. You can try exercises that help strengthen your pelvic floor so that you can control your bladder better.
There is only so much you can do to reduce the pressure on bladder pregnant, though. Sometimes the damage to the urinary tract lasts long after childbirth as well. If this is the case, you might experience symptoms that interfere with your daily life, affect your self-confidence, and don’t resolve with lifestyle changes. That’s why Dr. Andrew Krinsky at MonaLisa Touch recommends targeted laser therapy. This therapy encourages blood flow to the damaged tissue and helps restore normal function.
Laser Therapy For Incontinence During Pregnancy
During pregnancy, hormonal changes and pressure from your baby can lead to long-term stress incontinence. You might leak urine every time you sneeze, cough, or even when you get out of a car. These symptoms can be disruptive to your daily life and make you feel insecure.
Unfortunately, incontinence doesn’t always go away after you have your baby. Childbirth can cause physical damage to the urinary tract or cause damage to the nerves in your pelvis. This damage can cause both stress incontinence and urge incontinence. Previously, treatment options for incontinence were limited to lifestyle changes or invasive surgeries. Now there is another option to get your body back to normal: laser therapy.
Benefits Of Targeted Laser Therapy
Targeted laser therapy like MonaLisa Touch uses non-invasive pulsing energy to heal damaged tissue. Laser therapy increases blood flow to the tissue and encourages the healing process. The sessions are quick and painless and are suitable for almost everyone. You’ll notice increased urinary control, reduced frequency of the urge to urinate, and increased pelvic muscle tone.
One literature review found that all thirty-one reviewed studies showed significant improvement of symptoms and no major adverse reactions to the therapy. This review concluded that all studies on laser therapy for urinary incontinence. The review also revealed pelvic organ prolapse reported improvement. Another review found that laser therapy is well tolerated with no significant side effects in seventeen individual studies. We believe in science and provide only safe, effective treatments.
We hope this article has helped you feel less alone in your pregnancy journey, and we’d love to hear your stories. Leave a comment down below with the moment you felt like pregnancy was not what you dreamed it would be. Be sure to include how you got through it.
If pregnancy has you making frequent trips to the restroom, give us a call. Dr. Krinsky can help you get back to the things you love without worrying about aches, pains, or leaking urine. And remember, it’s not just you who is going through this!
- The Endocrine Society (2018). “What is Relaxin?”. Hormone Health Network . https://www.hormone.org/your-health-and-hormones/glands-and-hormones-a-to-z/hormones/relaxin
- Goldsmith, L. T. and Weiss, G. (2009). “Relaxin in Human Pregnancy”. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences . 1160, p. 130-135. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3856209/
- Thompson, G. E., Husney, A., Romito, K., and Seifert, A. L. (2021). “Urinary Incontinence in Women”. Kaiser Permanente. https://healthy.kaiserpermanente.org/health-wellness/health-encyclopedia/he.urinary-incontinence-in-women.hw220313
- Mackova et al. (2020). Laser therapy for urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse: a systematic review. BJOG. 127(11), p.1338-1346. https://obgyn.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1471-0528.16273
- Henriques, J. et al (2018). Female urinary incontinence: is laser treatment effective? A systemic review. Obstetrics & Gynecology International Journal. 9(4). P. 227-231. https://medcraveonline.com/OGIJ/female-urinary-incontinence-is-laser-treatment-effective-a-systematic-review.html