Why Does Post-natal Incontinence Happen?

In many cases incontinence is something which occurs during pregnancy, but for some mums the issue can linger long after childbirth. Post-natal incontinence is actually very common among mums, especially for women who have delivered their baby vaginally.

It is estimated that incontinence following pregnancy and childbirth affects up to 50 percent of women. Although most problems resolve themselves within a year of giving birth, there are many women who suffer with lingering issues. Fortunately, there are treatment options available to solve the issue, including sacrohysteropexy surgery and intensive courses of physiotherapy from a qualified pelvic floor physiotherapist.

Why do some women suffer from post-natal incontinence?

Incontinence is caused either by an increased urge to urinate or through stress from laughing, sneezing, coughing, running or jumping. In the third trimester of pregnancy the growing uterus starts to put increased pressure on the bladder, the body also begins to release hormones to improve the elasticity of joints for delivery. Together these changes in the body reduce the support provided to the bladder, so occasionally it can begin to leak.

Many of the women who suffer from stress incontinence also suffer from urge incontinence, which is caused by an overactive bladder. Those who are over 35 or obese are at a greater risk of developing both stress and urge incontinence during pregnancy. But, following childbirth the most likely sufferers are those who have delivered vaginally or suffered with uterine prolapses, especially following delivery interventions such as forceps which can damage pelvic muscles.

When should treatment be sought?

Incontinence is something which can interfere very quickly with your daily life, impacting everything from your career to your love life. If you notice even a small amount of urine leaking while coughing or sneezing, it is worth talking to your doctor as it’s rare that the issue will cure itself.

How do the pelvic floor muscles work?

The first step to curing incontinence is to establish the cause, which in most cases is weakened pelvic floor muscles. The pelvic floor is a set of muscles which are located in the pelvis between the frontal pubic bone and the base of the spine. The muscles create a hammock to hold the uterus, vagina, bowel and bladder in place, and they also provide control to the bladder during urination. During urination the muscles relax to release urine, they then tighten to re-close the bladder.

What are the treatment options?

For those who suffer from stress incontinence due to uterine prolapse or pelvic floor weakness, it may seem like there are no options. In mild cases, many professionals will recommend working on behaviour and lifestyle choices, such as examining your activities and losing weight if you BMI is higher than it should be. In all cases, physiotherapy is always recommended this can positively impact the pelvis floor muscles. In the first three months post delivery, it is always beneficial to seek help with pelvic floor physiotherapy.

If after three months of daily physiotherapy, there seems to be little difference, then this is the time to come and see Mr Broome. He is a gynaecologist specialising in pelvic floor repair and has had many ladies visit him due to incontinence after delivery. He can advise a way forward to regain your quality of life. Nobody wants to be young, with young children and suffering from incontincence. Mr Broome, at a consultation, will examine you for the causes of your incontinence and also check to see if uterine prolapse  might be a factor. If so, he will talk through the prospect of having sacrohysteropexy surgery, which is a permanent solution to repositioning the uterus and subsequently enabling other organs in the abdomen to realign.

What is sacrohysteropexy surgery?

Sacrohysteropexy surgery is a highly effective solution for those who have suffered a uterine prolapse. As it is such a delicate procedure it is essential that patients choose a qualified and experienced surgeon. There are many women who fear the only option is to undergo a hysterectomy, but Mr Broome has enabled many young women to have more children with no further prolapses or incontinence issues.

The procedure involves using a strip of synthetic mesh to hold and lift the uterus in place. This is NOT vaginally inserted but instead carefully inserted via tiny keyhole wounds in the stomach wall as it is a keyhole procedure. Sacrohysteropexy surgery has significantly less side effects as a consequence and Mr Broome will be happy to talk these through with you. During the procedures, Mr Broome will attach one end of the mesh to the sacral bone, with the other end attached to the cervix or top of the vagina.

How can a physiotherapist help?

By working on strengthening the pelvic floor muscles, the root cause of post-natal incontinence can often be removed. It is very common for women to perform pelvic floor exercises at home, but for many people there is a lack of knowledge which can prevent results. A qualified physiotherapist will have the skills needed to assess, treat and educate women so they are cured of post-natal incontinence.

The sessions would start with an initial consultation to establish whether the patient is ready to begin a physiotherapy programme. The physiotherapist will then assess strength, flexibility and posture, which could all have an impact on muscle control following pregnancy. A programme will then be established which teaches the patient how to perform exercises which safely and effectively improve pelvic floor strength.

Mr Jonathan Broome is a highly regarded surgeon who regularly carries out pelvic floor repairs through physiotherapy and Sacrohysteropexy. To find out more about how Mr Broome can help you with your incontinence problem, please contact our team.


embarrassed by prolapse

The causes of stress incontinence and available treatments

According to the latest statistics, the number of women who suffer from stress incontinence is as high as 1 in 4. Stress incontinence happens because of pressure placed upon the abdomen and bladder, and can be due to a variety of reasons that include exercise, lifting heavy objects, as well as coughing and even sneezing.

What causes stress incontinence?

Stress incontinence is not caused by the ageing process, as many women in their late seventies and eighties do not have this condition. Stress incontinence happens because the pelvic floor muscles become damaged or weakened. These muscles are very important as they support both the urethra and bladder, as well as the sphincter muscles that form the opening of the bladder. All of these problems will cause urine to leak from the bladder. Common causes for stress incontinence in women include those of a vaginal birth, pregnancy, obesity, hysterectomy, Parkinson’s disease, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, diuretics and antidepressants.

What treatment is available?

Depending upon the severity of the condition, and your medical history, there are a number of treatment routes available. These range from simple lifestyle changes right through to invasive surgery. With regards to lifestyle changes, it is often recommended that you try to reduce your daily fluid intake, to stop smoking and if you are a diabetic, to carefully monitor your blood sugar level. Training your pelvic floor muscles is also incredibly advantageous, as doing so can strengthen weakened muscles, helping the bladder to retain urine.

Surgical procedures for the treatment of stress incontinence

If stress incontinence is affecting your every day life and is causing pain and discomfort, then there are a few surgical procedures that are available. A surgical tape can be inserted into the urethra to help support the weakened muscles. A treatment known as colposuspension, that lifts the neck of the bladder, is also highly effective in stopping stress incontinence.

Mr Jonathan Broome of the The Pelvic Clinic is highly specialised in the surgical treatments for stress incontinence. To learn more about this type of surgical procedure, please do contact the clinic for a consultation.

stress incontinence

Stress incontinence need not be a secret

Stress incontinence is incredibly common across the world, yet it is something that is rarely discussed. The potential there for is that many individuals do not know that there is a diagnosis for their symptoms and more importantly, treatments available too.

Stress incontinence happens when the bladder leaks urine due to pressure from one of the following external factors; exercise, coughing, sneezing, lifting, laughing or jumping. It appears to be more common in women (though it is just as feasible for men to be diagnosed with stress incontinence) and there are at least one in five women over the age of forty who have some degree of stress incontinence. Because incontinence isn’t something that is often discussed, it could be that incidences are much higher than this.

Despite this diagnosis most commonly being made in those over the age of 40, stress incontinence is not an age related condition. Stress incontinence is the result of weak and/or damaged pelvic floor muscles and urethral sphincters. It becomes apparent why it is a condition most associated with women when you learn the most likely contributing factors, which are:

• The extra weight on the abdomen during pregnancy
• Vaginal childbirth
• Bladder damage during gynaecological surgeries such as hysterectomies
• Other contributing factors also include: Neurological disease and connective tissue disorders, medications such as diuretics, sedatives and antidepressants.

What should you watch out for?

Leaking small amounts of urine or feeling a frequent, urgent need to urinate are signs that you may need to consult a health care professional. There are lots of management options that will be discussed with you. These range from lifestyle changes, to muscle training, medication and surgical procedures.

It is estimated that there are countless more individuals suffering with the symptoms of urinary stress incontinence than currently recorded. This is likely due to the stigma that surrounds incontinence. Many patients claim that seeing a dedicated professional such as Mr Broome at The Pelvic Clinic can make seeking treatment easier as it takes away some of their (unnecessary) embarrassment.

To find out more about stress incontinence and its treatment click here

being calm

Anxiety and stress incontinence

With six million people diagnosed with stress incontinence in the UK alone, it is a condition that people generally do not wish to talk about. For many it’s embarrassing, as laughter or even a bout of sneezing can cause the bladder to leak, and this unpredictability can create feelings of isolation and anxiety.

If this sounds familiar, it is important to seek out medical advice to ascertain your individual condition, but there are also self-help factors to consider which can help combat any anxieties experienced. It is all too easy to feel depressed, isolated or to have negative thoughts, but managing these negative feelings are a must if normality of life is to continue.

When anxiety levels are high, it can be difficult to switch the brain off and sleep properly. Gentle relaxation techniques can be really useful at such times and will promote deep, healing sleep. Taking control of the situation is the best option, and you can try the following tips to help restore your confidence.

Deep breathing exercises

When we are upset and stressed, we tend to turn to shallow breathing, which is not conducive to health. Take a mindful approach, counting as you inhale, hold and then release the breath. This should be repeated several times. This type of simple breathing technique will help to quell feelings of nervousness, and is useful at any time, but especially if hospital treatment or surgery is necessary.

Gentle exercise

This is useful because it releases feel-good endorphins, which affect mood. Take it steadily and don’t over-exert yourself: a light walk, or gentle aerobics, are a great start.

Banish negative thoughts

Those with stress incontinence often feel bad about themselves, and embarrassment and self-pressure only makes the individual feel worse. Affirmations can be useful in these circumstances, as are positive statements of intent, and are useful for boosting self-esteem.

Stress incontinence can create feelings of self-doubt and loneliness, so taking back control is important. Fear of the unknown may hold you back in life but don’t let it, as your condition may be readily treatable. Mr Jonathan Broome from The Pelvic Clinic is one of the UK’s leading surgeons in sacrohysteropexy, and has helped thousands of individuals suffering with stress incontinence to reduce the impact of this condition, helping them to regain their lives again. Just by seeking out professional advice, it is possible to regain health, and lessen the anxieties associated with stress incontinence.


stress incontinence

Stress incontinence: causes, effects and how we can help

While it may be an embarrassing issue, between three and six million individuals suffer with some form of urinary incontinence a year, the majority of which is caused by stress. Anything that alters the pressure placed on the abdomen, be it coughing, sneezing or even laughing, may cause urine to be passed uncontrollably. Trivial tasks become a point of fear, causing psychological effects that can have a great impact upon your quality of life. Stress incontinence is more common in women, with one in five women in this country suffering. If you’re affected, you don’t have to stay quiet any longer.

Contrary to public opinion, it is not necessarily ageing that is to blame, and it is instead the consequence of a weakening of pelvic floor muscles that causes stress incontinence. Childbirth can be a cause of this, as can surgical procedures, such as a hysterectomy. Stress incontinence may also be the consequence of neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s, or due to taking medications for other illnesses that can act as diuretics.

As sensitive as illness stress incontinence can be, do not suffer in silence, as treatment is available that can greatly improve your health and wellbeing. The psychological strain due to stress incontinence is not to be underestimated and you should seek help from a well-trained professional at the nearest opportunity. Hysterectomy procedures can often cause damage to the bladder also, resulting in subsequent complications to your health. However there are different options available, such as sacrohysteropexy.

At The Pelvic Clinic, consultant gynaecologist Mr. Jonathan Broome has a huge amount of experience in treating stress incontinence, having performed hundreds of surgeries. There are numerous procedures available in order to find the treatment best suited to your individual illness. These range from pelvic floor exercises to lifestyle changes and medication, before moving towards surgical treatment. Surgery is a highly effective and permanent treatment for stress incontinence, allowing you to once again live your life to the fullest. Take back control of your life and laugh with abandon once again, waving your stress incontinence problems goodbye.

stress incontinence

Self-care tips for mild stress incontinence

Urinary incontinence is a common side effect of uterus problems or pelvic floor weakness. It can be an incredibly embarrassing condition. However, it’s important to know that urinary incontinence affects about 20% of women, and is nothing to be ashamed of. What’s more, milder cases of stress incontinence, which is the most common type of urinary incontinence, can often be alleviated through self-care.

Stress incontinence occurs when pressure is put on the bladder through things like laughing, sneezing, coughing or exercise. Given how unavoidable and frequent these activities are, it’s important to deal with incontinence so you can relax and enjoy your day-to-day life. Depending on your current lifestyle, there are some significant changes that you can make in order to look after your general health and reduce milder stress incontinence.

Poorly managed diabetes can contribute to stress incontinence. If you are diabetic, make sure you follow medical guidelines. A balanced and nutritious diet can provide a boost in wellbeing, but can also be particularly important if you have issues with your blood sugar.

Do you smoke? If so, this might be the time to quit. Smoking has numerous negative health impacts, and giving up may help to alleviate your condition. Quitting has never been easier, with countless methods and nicotine replacement options available to suit your needs.

Another much simpler way to manage mild stress incontinence is to simply cut down on your fluid consumption. Whilst it’s important to remain hydrated, it’s possible to do this by drinking little and often. This can help you to avoid an overly full bladder that can contribute to leakages. Stopping the intake of caffeine can also have a profoundly positive impact.

In addition to self-care, it’s important to see a physician to identify the underlying cause of stress incontinence. If it is due to uterus problems such as prolapse, you may require prolapse surgery or other uterine surgery by a specialist surgeon, such as Mr Broome. If your incontinence fails to respond to self-care, medication or pelvic floor strengthening, or if your condition is severe, you can also consider stress incontinence surgery to alleviate the problem. Contact us if you’d like to discuss your options.

stress incontinence

What is stress incontinence?

Stress incontinence is an embarrassing condition which affects many women the world over. It is especially common in those who have had children, as the trauma of childbirth and the pressure on the stomach which pregnancy can cause can lead to weakening of or damage to the pelvic floor muscles.

Most people diagnosed with urinary incontinence in the UK are sufferers of stress incontinence, which means that leaks occur when sudden pressure is exerted on the abdomen or bladder. This pressure can be created by simply coughing or sneezing, by exerting oneself and even by lifting heavy objects.

While many men do experience urinary incontinence, it is much more common in women, particularly those over the age of 40. As many as 20% of women are thought to have stress incontinence to some degree, but the figure could even be higher; many women shy away from discussing it because they are embarrassed.

Though more common in older women, stress incontinence is not itself caused by the aging process, but rather comes about as a result of damage to the group of muscles which work together to control urine flow. As well as pregnancy and vaginal childbirth, this can occur if the bladder is damaged during surgery (a hysterectomy, for instance), as a result of taking certain medicines including diuretics, antidepressants and sedatives, and when certain neurological and connective-tissue disorders are present.

The main symptoms include leaking small quantities of urine when you laugh or sneeze and if you’re experiencing this, it’s probably worth paying your doctor a visit.

Mild symptoms can be managed with changes to lifestyle and behaviour – reducing fluid intake and quitting smoking can both help substantially in less severe cases. Pelvic floor exercises and certain prescription medicines can also help to reduce symptoms, but in more severe cases, surgery may be necessary.

Mr Broome specialises in operations to treat stress incontinence, prolapsed uterus surgery and other gynaecological procedures, making him an excellent choice if you find yourself needing surgery, as he can ensure comfort before and during surgery. Contact us to find out more about the procedures available.