Light Bladder Leaks or Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) is the involuntary loss of urine when performing activities that put stress on your urinary tract – running, coughing, or lifting. Light bladder leaks are believed to be caused by the weakening of the pelvic floor muscles that support the bladder and the muscles that help regulate and control the release and flow of urine. The weakening of these muscles can be caused by years of high impact activity, aging, or obesity. Another cause of SUI that women may experience is childbirth. Approximately 30% of women will experience light bladder leaks within 5 years of their first vaginal birth.
Why Do We Get SUI
As mentioned before, light bladder leaks, or SUI, can come about for many reasons. There could be a combination of issues about why you’re experiencing leaks, but if you’ve given birth it could likely be one of the causes. During pregnancy, your body goes through a lot of changes. Organs and bones physically shift to allow new life to grow inside of you. This shifting can cause some damage to your nerves that are connected to the bladder. In fact, your urethra and bladder could completely shift, interrupting normal bathroom habits. Pelvic floor muscles are weakened during pregnancy and giving birth, which can also cause leaks after your little bundle of joy comes into the world.
You’re Not Alone
Stress incontinence can be isolating. Constantly having to worry about leaks and trying to cover them up, on top of raising children, is stressful and can be embarrassing. The good news? You’re not alone. SUI affects millions of people and is more prevalent in women. It’s been reported that by the age of 60, about 1 in 3 women will experience some sort of incontinence. While around 4 million American women give birth annually, not all of them will experience stress incontinence, but plenty of them will. So the likelihood of you knowing someone who has had the same experiences as you are higher than you may think. Talk to your friends and families and know you’re not alone in dealing with SUI.
The Hidden Impacts of SUI
Although it’s easy to brush incontinence off as an embarrassing inconvenience, it could have a lasting impact on your family and self-esteem. Women can suffer from postpartum depression, which is a condition sometimes referred to as the “baby blues”. Mothers who have recently given birth can experience mood swings, anxiety, and depression symptoms. Add occasional leaks when exerting energy to do daily tasks, and self-esteem can go out the window. Women may be less inclined to be involved in activities that may help their mental health like exercise or socializing because they’re experiencing leaks.
When starting or growing your family, finances take a big hit. Having a baby is expensive! So are incontinence products. Putting more items on the list, even if it’s just pantyliners or pads for leaks, can add up quickly. Especially if the problem persists, purchasing liners and pads on a regular basis can have a lasting impact on your family’s finances.
If you’re experiencing the occasional leak after you’ve given birth, what can you do? First, if you believe it is a serious problem, talk with your doctor. Even though it can be an embarrassing topic to discuss, it’s important you are open and honest with your healthcare provider so they can offer the best plan of care. Beyond talking to your doctor about your symptoms, there are exercises for you to do at home to help strengthen the pelvic muscles that may have been weakened during pregnancy or childbirth.
Kegels: Kegels are exercises meant to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. There are plenty of guides, examples, and tools available to help make sure you’re engaging the right muscles.
Squats: Squats engage and can help restore pelvic muscle strength. It’s important that you have good form and are following through to complete the movement.
Bridges: These not only help your pelvic floor muscles but feel great on the back and help engage your glutes.
These are easy exercises you can do almost anywhere, and it’s fun to get the family involved!
Revive for Moms
While exercising is a great way to help your pelvic floor muscles in the long run, it could be weeks to see results and you may still experience the occasional leak. Thankfully, Revive is here for you! The revolutionary bladder support device is inserted like a tampon to help stop leaks, not just cover them up like pads and liners. Moms are able to use Revive 3 months after childbirth to help with leaks. Revive is reusable, safe, and can be left in for 12 hours so you stay dry all day! Let us help you get back to you.
Revive is a bladder support device for women with SUI that comes from Rinovum Women’s Health. We use a comfortable, one-size design to provide 12-hour protection from leaks, Revive is reusable and safe. Available over-the-counter without a prescription at retailers nationwide.