Urinary incontinence is when you have trouble controlling your bladder, allowing wee to leak out. It is estimated it affects 40% of all women, with a high-risk time being after childbirth.
The prognosis of urinary incontinence depends on the type, severity, and underlying cause. Women who have incontinence related to pregnancy and childbirth are likely to see improvement or complete resolution of their symptoms if they seek help from a professional.
What type of urinary incontinence do I have?
- Stress incontinence – when you sneeze, cough, jump, lift, or get the giggles this increases the pressure on your bladder. We need a strong pelvic floor to support the bladder from underneath to not let wee escape. If you have a very tight or weak pelvic floor it can’t offer that support.
- Urge incontinence – is characterised by a sudden intense need to wee right away, making it hard to get to the toilet in time before the bladder lets go. This can be caused by a condition called overactive bladder syndrome (we have a separate page on this!).
- Overflow incontinence – this happens because the bladder isn’t fully emptying. If you have a glass of water that you only tip small amounts of at a time, there is still water to spill out as you move around. The result is that wee drips out little and often, rather than going for a full gushing wee when on the toilet.
- Mixed incontinence – this is when you are getting a combination of the above. The most common mix is stress and urge incontinence.
It is important to track exactly when you are leaking, so we can find the underlying cause and create a treatment plan.
Why is this happening to me?
- Pregnancy – with the expanding uterus, growing a baby and placenta, your bladder can become very squished. This means your bladder physically can’t hold as much wee. On top of that the pelvic floor muscles gradually thin and weaken from having an ever-increasing weight on top, meaning one of the key supporters to control your bladder isn’t performing at its best.
- Vaginal birth – if you sustained an injury to your pelvic floor muscles or pelvic nerves during childbirth, then the pelvic floor is further weakened in its ability to respond to controlling when wee is let out.
- UTIs – an infection in your urinary tract causes pain, and increases your need to wee creating sudden urges. Once treated the symptoms should resolve.
- Constipation – chronically getting blocked up in your bowels weakens your pelvic floor. This has a knock-on effect on bladder control.
- Beverages – caffeine and alcohol irritate bladders, meaning it can make you need to wee more often. If you are particularly sensitive or drink cups of tea by the gallon then it may be upsetting that bladder.
What treatment is available?
With a detailed assessment by a Mummy MOT Practitioner, we can find the root cause of your incontinence. The treatment then follows the findings of the assessment. If there is a concern about medical causes such as UTI, we will refer you to your GP.
Treatment available by Mummy MOT:
- Bladder training – this is an important aspect with urge and overflow incontinence to get a healthy bladder able to fully fill and empty.
Pelvic floor muscle training – our pelvic floor muscles can be trained like any other muscle in the body. Creating a balanced pelvic floor that is strong, but also flexible, gives the bladder the full support it needs.
- Manual therapy – hands-on treatment can help to reduce tension and facilitate healing of the effects of pregnancy and birth, to give the bladder the ability to function well.
- Education and advice – helping you improve lifestyle factors at play and recommending assistive devices to prevent leakage.
A Mummy MOT provides a detailed assessment to understand your urinary incontinence. A treatment plan tailored to your needs can then be made to get you on the road to recovery. If you would like to book in then please get in touch.