Post birth urinary stress

A loss of muscle tone in the pelvis is a common post-birth symptom. Here's how to help your body heal.

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Many women are left with urinary stress incontinence  after childbirth usually from either brisk delivery of large babies, prolonged difficult childbirth or carrying a heavy baby.

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Strangely it is still one of the least talked about side effects of pregnancy and giving birth, but rest assured it is usually temporary problem.

Post birth urinary stress incontinence is an involuntary leak of urine when you laugh, sneeze, cough or exercise and happens when the pelvic floor and vaginal muscles are stretched during pregnancy and childbirth and therefore become too weak to stop your stream of urine.

Here are two methods to perform a self-test if you think you maybe suffering:

*Lie down and, with legs apart, cough. This will produce a visible spurt of urine if stress incontinence is the problem.

* Stand up with one leg on a stool and hold a paper towel over your perineum (the area between the vagina and the anus). See a wet stain on the towel? This is another sign of stress incontinence.

The healing process varies from woman to woman. If you are lucky your body will begin to return to normal within a few weeks, while for others it can continue for several months.

Treating post birth urinary stress incontinence

Regular pelvic floor excericise seems to be the best way to help the problem. You will need to do them for at least three months to see and feel results.

How to do your pelvic floor excerices:

Close up and draw in the muscles around your bladder opening, as though you’re trying to stop passing urine in midstream. Repeat round the anus, as though you’re stopping yourself having a bowel movement. Hold these positions for as long as is comfortable, breathing normally and then relax. Repeat several times daily.

During your re-training use sanitary towels (not tampons as they could cause infection) to protect yourself from leaks and for general re-assurance. Try to urinate frequently so your bladder doesn’t get too full. Don’t reduce your fluid intake especially if you are breastfeeding.

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Extreme problems

If you are still suffering after some months visit your GP who will be able to advise you about the next steps to take, one of which can be laser surgery.

Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation (LVR) is procedure designed to treat stress urinary incontinence that results from pelvic relaxation and/or support defects. Using the laser decreases blood loss, post-operative swelling, scaring and pain. The procedure will enhance vaginal muscle, tone, strength, and control. LVR is effective in alleviating the uncontrolled leakage or urine, as well as restoring the youthful resilience of the vagina. This procedure is performed on an outpatient basis with 86% success rate.

For more information about the UK Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation Centre, and Professor PKW Dartey carriers out this pioneering techniques to enhance vaginal muscle tone, strength and control via laser visit www.profdartey.com or call 020 8232 5452.

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