Help for Postpartum Bladder Leakage
For Amanda Erickson, she was often on the run… to the bathroom. After having four kids, she had incontinence and if she laughed, coughed or sneezed too hard, she would leak urine. She was embarrassed to talk about it with her friends and even her doctor, so she just suffered in silence.
Incontinence is the involuntary loss of urine. Many women experience this while they’re pregnant as their pelvic floor muscles have to work harder to provide the support to the extra baby weight and their baby presses on their bladder. For some women, this condition continues after they’ve given birth because the muscles surrounding the urethra and bladder have gone through a lot of stretch and strain, making them weak and therefore, these muscles may no longer contract as effectively to close the urethra. Loss of bladder control should be treated or it could become a long-term problem. In some women it can develop years after childbirth.
“My problems started after my first baby,” says Amanda. “But I thought the only thing that could help was a bladder suspension, major surgery.” With each baby it got worse, and finally after number four, I was even worried about going when I was running after them, something had to be done. I was surprised when my doctor recommended physical therapy.”
Amanda started pelvic floor physical therapy just two months ago at DMC Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan’s clinic located inside DMC Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital, and is already seeing a big improvement. The first step was an exam and then her therapist taught her strengthening exercises for her pelvic floor and core. A vaginal probe monitors if she’s doing the exercises correctly.
“I can’t believe the difference in such a short period of time. I see my therapist once a week, and I try to do the exercises every day at home. I will probably go for another month and then continue therapy at home with regular checkups.”
Amanda says she’s spending less time in the bathroom, not wearing as many pads and has gotten her confidence back that she’s not going to have an accident in public. She encourages other women to start talking and start doing something about their incontinence.
To request a physical therapy appointment using our online form, click here.