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Urinary incontinencd after childbirth

(13 Posts)
Jn15 Mon 28-Aug-17 03:23:09

I delivered my baby vaginally 5 weeks ago. I had a third degree tear because he was vacuum assisted- I also had pushed for 2 hours. I am still extremely sore down there. But my worst worry is that I developed urinary incontinence- not just when I cough or sneeze, if I have a heavy bladder I leak completely before I get to the bathroom. I consulted with the urogynacologist and she showed me pessaries and also discussed surgery but that cannot be done if if I want more kids. am worried that this is a big change to my quality of life and I will never get better. Has anyone else been through the same and please advise on what helped ? Am badly in need of some support.

OP’s posts: |
Gaggleofgirls Mon 28-Aug-17 03:37:19

Don't forget you are only five weeks postnatal your muscles have yet to rebuild and strengthen.
I would imagine pelvic floor exercises etc would work wonders but thinking back to 5wks postnatal I'm not sure I'd fancy trying, if I remember rightly it'll still be uncomfortable to push to go to the loo.
Sorry I can't be much help but just don't forget you have only just had baby and look into strengthening exercises

HopeAndJoy16 Mon 28-Aug-17 03:48:49

Start doing your pelvic floor exercises regularly. It's not an instant fix but it will help in the long term. It will also aid healing. But 5 weeks is still very soon! Do you have a follow up with a women's health physio? If not could you get a referral to one? They will be able to help with other exercises to help with bladder/pelvic floor control. I hope it gets better for you soon OP x

TiramisuQueenoftheFaeries Mon 28-Aug-17 10:55:56

This is very common after birth so don't worry too much.

First thing I'd do is download the NHS Squeezy app and start doing the exercises, if you can manage them. The app can guide you through then and you can set it to remind you to do them multiple times a day.

Raise it with your doctor and during any postnatal reviews but the first thing they'll want you to do is pelvic floor exercises so might as well make a start as soon as you can.

Positivevibe Mon 28-Aug-17 13:16:41

I'm sorry this has happened to you. A third degree tear is a serious injury (5 to 10% of births) and you're going to need as much support as you can get for the next few months. You are recovering from birth as well as starting a rehabilitation process to heal a serious wound.

For soreness, freeze maternity pads and use for 10 min 3 times a day (my wound only healed after 2 months). Ask your GP if you can apply Lidocaine to help with discomfort.
Do pelvic floor exercises 5 to 6 times every day (or follow what the physio is telling you to do) for 6 months.

The positive (if it can be called positive) is that you are only 5 weeks postpartum. It is very early (I'm surprised they've already mentioned surgery). Physio will help a lot. Although you might not get back full control of your bladder, things will improve a lot over the next year and you will not stay as you are.
You should feel a first real improvement around 3 months (until then, don't despair, it will feel the same day after day) and again around 6 months. It takes that long for pelvic floor muscles to regain their strength + if there's nerve damage, it's more likely to recover during the first 6 months too (although nerve damage may be permanent).
So after 6 months you should feel much more yourself.

After 9 months the physio told me it was still early and I definitely still had improvement up to 18 months after birth. So take it easy, rehabilitation is long.

These injuries are taboo and suffering a serious birth injury AND speaking out about it goes against the idea that women should sacrifice everything to have a baby.
You should find support at the Birth trauma association, the Masic Foundation (they are a very new charity so might be more useful if you carry on suffering long term but no harm signalling new mothers need help too in my view) and Facebook (have a search for serious childbirth injury or 3d and 4th degree tears).
Depending on how you feel, you may also want to see a perinatal mental health service. They've heard it all before and can help you process the trauma you've suffered.

Good luck

Jn15 Mon 28-Aug-17 15:49:50

Thanks so much ! Even knowing that this is common is helpful even though rehabilitation will be a long process. I was reading on other forums where women report to have felt better in 4-5 weeks post a third degree tear. This made me think I have not healed at all. I am trying to be positive and patient and will start doing the pelvic exercises after talking to my doctor. Thanks ladies!

OP’s posts: |
Poptart4 Mon 28-Aug-17 20:42:19

My last child was 10lbs with a very large head. I had this problem after she was born. Had me really worried, I was only 29 and looking at a life time of incontinence pads. I kept doing my kegal exercises and it stopped when she was 6 months old. She's 4yrs now and I haven't had any problems since.

Jn15 Mon 28-Aug-17 21:02:28

@poptart
It's like you spoke my mind. I keep playing out scenarios of me at work or traveling or even out for dinner and being unable to get to the restroom before I leak completely. It's been extremely depressing and am so glad to hear things will be better in 6 months. I have started doing kegels and hope I will regain control soon.

OP’s posts: |
knaffedoff Mon 28-Aug-17 21:10:35

Check out the nhs squeeze app wink

MsWanaBanana Mon 28-Aug-17 21:18:17

I had a 4th deg tear with my first and it took a while for the incontinence to get better. I remember having to wear Tena'a for quite a few weeks. I started the pelvic floor exercises as soon as I wasnt sore anymore and it helped massively. I think I stopped leaking altogether after 8-9 weeks. I fell pregnant with twins when my dd was 2 yrs old and didn't have any issues during the pregnancy or after so it does get better.

Squeegle Mon 28-Aug-17 21:22:02

I had a 3rd degree tear- had a ventouse and also forceps! I was like you (also couldn't control my farts!!), thought I would never be able to go back to work.

I did the exercises, also after a while I got a machine from Amazon which helped. I'm fine now and have been for ages. Not as good as I was before, but really not a problem. It did take a while I have to say - sex was a bit uncomfortable at first, I really wasn't keen for quite some time. So don't worry, do the exercises, and if it doesn't improve go back to GP, there is much that can be done.

manglethedangle Mon 28-Aug-17 22:26:09

I'm 12 months into physio and things are much better. I wouldn't suggest getting it just yet, but definitely look into it. I started when DS was 8months, I'd say 3 months would have been good, but I had to wait for the NHS. Private physio has been much better though but that's because I was misdiagnosed by the NHS physio.

Cheeseishappiness Tue 29-Aug-17 17:51:58

Hi Jn15 - I had the same problem as you. It's so very common but people don't talk about it for obvious reasons.
I did find it got better naturally to a great extent as time passed and I healed in the months after the birth. You are only five weeks down the line and your body is still getting back towards normal but it takes time.

I also went to a specialist 'women's physio' about 8 weeks after giving birth to discuss this with them, which was excellent. Google the words Women's Physio along with the name of the place where you live and I'm sure you'll find one. I just booked one appointment with a clinic near me and paid for it myself. They teach you various exercises to do, and which exercises to avoid. They also checked my stomach wall for diastastis while I was there and talked me through that too, so it was frankly really money well spent. I will definitely do it again next time!

I read online that in France all this is normal for most women but in the UK it's still not offered as routine which I think is such a shame.

Do inbox me if you'd like to discuss further.
Best of luck to you and really don't lose sleep over this. It's more than likely something which you can get totally sorted, so don't feel embarrassed or stressed about it - so very normal. The 'joys' of child birth hey! Sending upbeat and supportive vibes your way Xx

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