August 31, 2009,
S.P. asks from Mount Juliet, TN on August 27, 2009
Bladder Issue for Mom
This is soooo embarrassing. Ever since my youngest daughter was born (she weighed 10 pounds), I have noticed that if I am running or doing something else strenuous like a hard sneeze, for instance. I leak a bit of urine. It has nothing to do with having to actually use the bathroom. Most of the time, it is only when I sneeze or cough hard that I have the problem. But lately, I've started running again (I have no problem when I walk), and by the end of my running session my pants are soaked, even if I just used the bathroom.
I have decided that when I go to the gym or out for a run, the only way I can save face is to wear one of those thin maxi pads. I try to do kegals as much as possible to tighten that area, and my husband has no complaints in the sexual dept. with tightness.
Have any of you dealt with this? I have noticed that as I get older it seems to get a little worse. It is a horrible feeling to not have control when I am at a gym and I feel it slowly leak out no matter what I do while I'm running.
Is there surgery that can be performed? If so, has anyone had it and what were the results? How expensive is it? My OB-GYN is male and I am embarassed bring it up. I know, I should just spit it out, but it either slips my mind or I just feel strange about it. I know that's what they do and what they are there for. Maybe if I got some good feedback about it here, I will call a specialist about it. You would think that after almost 8 years it would improve, but not so.
L.H. answers from Jacksonville on August 28, 2009
If kegals aren't making much of an impact you can actually see a physical or occupational therapist who can do e-stim to that area and it will strengthen the muscles to prevent the leakage. Just call around to adult therapy clinics and see if there is anyone there trained in that area. You then just need a doctor's referral to be evaluated and treated. More often I believe it is physical therapists who treat this. Good Luck!
E.M. answers from Louisville on August 28, 2009
talk to your obgyn if you arnt comfortable talking to a male about it then find a female gyno. im kind of surprised that you arent comfortable with your doctor. you need to have a good relationship with him and be honest or your doctor cant help you
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K.P. answers from Memphis on August 28, 2009
Sometimes when we do Kegels, it's not done accurately, so we miss out on the most benefit of it -- maybe you can look for some more detailed info about how to do them that will help you in this department. But it is a very COMMON problem (even if you haven't had children -- that's what "Depends" were made for). If you are embarrassed to bring it up to the doctor, when you call and make your appt, tell the receptionist that you have some concerns about urinary incontinence [believe me, it's not going to be embarrassing to ANY of the office staff because they deal with it so much], and then the doctor will probably ask you about it when he sees it in your file.
I used to work at a pharmacy, and people would be SOOOO embarrassed about getting stuff for hemorrhoids, diarrhea (unless for a child), lice (even though their child caught it from a schoolmate), yeast infection, bladder infection, etc., etc., but we never gave it a second thought -- that stuff was just too common! It was just another day at work for us -- it was a pharmacy -- people who had bodily problems is what kept us in our jobs!
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M.W. answers from Huntington on August 28, 2009
Did you have an episiotomy or a tear with the birth? Kegels would be my suggestion, but since kegels aren't helping, it may be a torn muscle that didn't get repaired, or was repaired improperly. If the muscle was intact and it was just a matter of toning it, kegels WOULD help. This problem (lax muscle tone, resulting in stress incontinence) happens as we age, whether or not we have had vaginal births. (A study found it equally prevalent in nuns!)so I disagree with several iof the other posters who blame vaginal births for their problem. But if the muscle was completely torn through (a 3rd degree tear, which IS the result of birth, specifically, forcefully pushing a baby out, instead of panting the baby out slowly and gently. BTW, 1st & 2nd degree tears usually heal well enough without stitches, and do not cause stress incontinence). With this type perineal injury, the two ends of the muscle are completely torn through, don't meet so cannot heal properly unless sutured back together adequately after the birth.
Yes reconstructive surgery is possible, it should help a lot, if not cure it entirely. I have no idea how much it would cost, just know it's possible.
You should not be embarrassed by any physical defect or injury. it's not your fault and needs to be remedied! If your ob/gyn being a male embarrases you switch to a female one.
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N.G. answers from Fayetteville on August 30, 2009
I think you're awesome for bringing something this private to light. My mom's got the same issue, has for years. She's now 64 and just crosses her legs tightly when she sneezes. She won't see her doctor about it. I hear it's normal for that to happen to a lot of women after childbirth. It doesn't hurt to ask your OB/GYN. You think it's the first time they've heard about it? You'll feel much better when you do. Good luck to you! =)
B.H. answers from Knoxville on August 30, 2009
I had a similar problem myself and went to my OB-GYN, the problem was that my bladder had dropped due to the muscles being streched in childbirth and also due to heavy lifting. The doctor performed surgery and did a bladder tac. The problem was solved and now I don't have that embarrassing problem.
M.P. answers from Raleigh on August 28, 2009
I know that is a bad feeling. I would say you should switch doctors to a female if you are uncomfortable discussing the topic. Is this the doctor who delivered your girls? I'm sure he sees that all the time. I have friends who complain of the same thing, especially one who runs (mine were all born c-section which has it's own difficulties like the sagging belly over the incision that won't go away.) I think it is a common problem and I am sure I have even read in baby books not to be surprised if that happens, which means the Dr will not be surprised and there may be a good solution to the problem you are missing out on. I know we become attached to our doctors, especially the ones who deliver our babies, but if you aren't going to have more babies, you might consider switching to a female who could have had the same experience. I have a male Dr too who is extremely popular and very difficult to get an appt. with so when I went in for birth control after having my 3rd child, I ended up only being able to get an appt with a female dr and I like her so much and found conversation surprisingly easier. It was much better than I expected and I will see her again. I also know another female Dr who is fabulous if you live near the Raleigh area. Or you could do more research on the web or library before you go back in. Hope you can find some relief!!!
M.Z. answers from Nashville on August 28, 2009
I S., I am so glad I read you post today. I have a best friend who went through this 3 years ago and had a common surgery for this called a "Bladder Sling." Her doctor was not going to be in town when she scheduled the surgery and his partner stepped in and did the surgery but he did a few extra things. He used something called "mesh" in the procedure. She has had a lot of problems and in research has found about 1,000 other women suffering as she has. She has lots of information and knows great doctors. She has spent the last 3 years tring to undo that surgery. Please email me ____@____.com and I will give you her email address so that you can talk to her. She is a very caring and sincere, a school teacher, and a mom too.
S.R. answers from Chattanooga on August 28, 2009
I too am a homeschooling mom. Looks like we have more than one issue in common! I believe it is to do w/ the muscles that surround the bottom of your bladder. The muscles are weak and the urine leaks out. You are supposed to do keagles. Sorry if that isn't spelled correctly. Try doing them over 100 times a day. And it should start to tighten them up. If after sometime it doesn't seem to be helping then you might want to see your Dr. to make sure you don't need something else done. Hope this helps some.