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Can incontinence continue after childbirth?

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After pregnancy, incontinence problems may continue. That's because childbirth weakens the pelvic floor muscles, which can cause an overactive bladder. Pregnancy and childbirth also may contribute to bladder control problems because of the following conditions:

  • Damage to the nerves that control the bladder
  • The fact that the urethra and bladder have moved during pregnancy
  • An episiotomy, a cut made in the pelvic floor muscle during delivery of a baby to allow the fetus to come out more easily

SOURCES:

Wesnes, SL . , 2007 Apr;109(4):922-8. Obstet and Gynecol.

NIDDK: "Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Bladder Control."

American Pregnancy Association: "Kegel Exercises."

Medline Plus: "Urinary Incontinence."

Medem: "Urinary Incontinence."

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on July 15, 2017

SOURCES:

Wesnes, SL . , 2007 Apr;109(4):922-8. Obstet and Gynecol.

NIDDK: "Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Bladder Control."

American Pregnancy Association: "Kegel Exercises."

Medline Plus: "Urinary Incontinence."

Medem: "Urinary Incontinence."

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on July 15, 2017

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What are Kegel exercises?

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