Ask the Expert: Fix your postpartum body
To end the month of June, we have a special Ask the Expert Session in line with world incontinence week, with the purpose to raise awareness of bladder weakness, pelvic pain and other debilitating conditions 😯 Our Expert Cheryl Han, Director and Lead Consultant in Orchard Clinic, will be answering all your questions on managing incontinence and urinary leakage after pregnancy 👩🏻💻 So don't forget to leave those burning questions in the comments section below!
How do I know if I have Incontinence?
There are a few different kinds of incontinence - but let's focus on Postpartum Incontinence, which is usually Stress Incontinence. This is where there is urinary leakage during an activity (e.g. sneezing, coughing, exercising). So the rule is: there should not be any form of urinary leakage at all. It is common, but it is not normal.
Are there symptoms about urinary leakage?
The main symptom of stress incontinence is an involuntary leakage of urine during physical movement or activity. Examples of the kinds of activities associated with urine leaking include sneezing, laughing, coughing, or exercise. The leakage may be as little as a drop or two, or as much as a squirt.
Is incontinence common amongst woman?
Stress Incontinence is more common in women due to pregnancy, childbirth and menopause. However, men could also have incontinence – men more commonly have Overflow Incontinence, especially following prostate surgery. This is usually a frequent dribble of urine and a feeling like the bladder is not completely emptying.
What would be best to avoid the two?
Thanks for the question – prevention is better than cure! So yes, we should aim to prevent incontinence. This can be done through exercises targeted at the pelvic floor, and medical devices. These days, the medical devices are very advanced and they've made it very comfortable and easy.
Hi Dr. Will it go away on its own?
Very often, it does not go away on its own, as we need to work the pelvic floor muscles to get them back in shape. For mummies with incontinence, I usually tell them – it is too late once they come to see me. We should be strengthening our pelvic floor before pregnancy to prevent incontinence from happening in the first place.
Can incontinence be cured?
Yes it can be cured – I've seen 95% success rate. However in some severe cases, we would refer out for surgery when we are not able to treat.