Preventing Urine Leaks During Pregnancy
In general, it’s usually in the fifth month of pregnancy that a woman may start to leak small amounts of urine because of being pregnant. It’s related to the pressure that both the baby and the uterus exert on the bladder. And although it can be uncomfortable, it isn’t a health problem. This article will give you some helpful tips on preventing urine leaks during pregnancy.
As the fetus grows, it takes up more and more space within your abdominal cavity and that has consequences for the other organs in your pelvic area. When you’re pregnant the body releases a series of hormones like relaxin. This makes it so the uterus becomes more flexible and has the ability to expand.
When there is enough pressure exerted on the bladder, any movement like coughing, laughing, or bending over can cause a loss of urine. This causes expecting mothers some distress.
Urine or amniotic fluid?
The important thing is that you make sure the liquid is really urine. If it doesn’t have the characteristic smell it could be amniotic fluid. If you suspect it may be amniotic fluid and not urine, you should seek immediate help from your doctor.
Amniotic fluid is the substance that surrounds and protects the fetus when it’s in the womb or uterus. This allows the fetus to move and develop without problems in the womb. It also protects the umbilical cord that connects the embryo with the mother.
If the amniotic fluid is lost it could tragically cause the fetus to die so be vigilant if you suspect there is a problem. Your baby needs the amniotic fluid so their lungs continue to develop normally. Proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, and other nutrients are also provided by the amniotic fluid throughout the baby’s development.
Under normal conditions, the amniotic sac remains intact until the last week of gestation. Then suddenly in your last week, a lot of women experience what is known as your “water breaking.” It’s a sign that you’re close to going into labor, if not already in labor!
Preventing urine leaks during pregnancy: Helpful tips
There are a series of tips that can help you to avoid urine leakage, especially in the last few weeks of gestation.
- Maintain a balanced diet.
- Maintain a healthy weight (being overweight increases pressure on the bladder and increases the likelihood of urine leaks).
- Avoid coffee, citrus products, sodas, chocolate, spicy foods or alcohol because they irritate the bladder so they should be avoided during pregnancy. Alcohol is contraindicated during pregnancy for this and other reasons.
- Take care of personal hygiene, especially in your intimate areas.
- It’s also handy to use special pads designed for incontinence sufferers. You should change them frequently to avoid the accumulation of germs that may cause infections.
- Stick to an exercise regimen that allows you to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic wall.
- Don’t resist the urge to urinate. In general, it’s recommended that you should go to the bathroom every two hours.
Additionally, it’s fundamental to avoid becoming constipated. When your bowel movements are hard you have to strain more and this can also lead to further urine leaks. It’s recommended that you eat foods that are rich in fiber and that help to keep stools soft. You should also drink lots of water to keep yourself well hydrated.
Kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic wall
The pelvic wall is what sustains the organs like the vagina, the uterus, the bladder, the urethra, and the rectum. It’s a set of muscles and ligaments that envelop the abdominal cavity and that hold all your organs in place. To strengthen them, there are a series of exercises that are worth doing during and after pregnancy. One of the best tools for strengthening your pelvic wall are Kegel exercises.
In a comfortable place and with your bladder completely empty, lie on your back and contract and elevate your hips and pelvis into the air. It’s important to feel the pelvic muscles moving and not your gluteals, your thighs, or the abdomen.
The idea is to contract the muscles of the pelvic floor for about 8 seconds, then release the contraction gently and rest for about 10 seconds. You should repeat this exercise 10 times in the morning, 10 times at midday, and another 10 times at night. Take care to assure you’re breathing normally. Inhale and exhale during the muscle contraction.
In about a month you should notice an improvement with greater control of your pelvic region and better success at preventing urine leaks during pregnancy. If after the birth the urge to urinate and the leaks continue, you should see your doctor.It might interest you...
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Prevención de la incontinencia de orina. Sociedad Española de Ginecología y Obstetricia. [En línea] Disponible en: https://sego.es/mujeres/Prevencion_incontinencia.pdf
- Robles J. E.. La incontinencia urinaria. Anales Sis San Navarra [Internet]. 2006 Ago [citado 2019 Mar 22] ; 29( 2 ): 219-231. Disponible en: http://scielo.isciii.es/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1137-66272006000300006&lng=es.
- Emília Sánchez Ruiz, Maite Solans Domènech, Montserrat Espuña. Estimación de la incidencia de incontinencia urinaria asociada al embarazo y el parto. Informe de Evaluación de Teconologías Sanitarias. AATRM Nº 2006/10. [En línea] Disponible en: http://aquas.gencat.cat/web/.content/minisite/aquas/publicacions/2010/pdf/incontinencia_embarazo_pcsns_aatrm2010.pdf