To learn more about urine incontinence, read Urinary Incontinence: Pregnancy and Postnatal Periods.

Pour en apprendre davantage sur les pertes urinaires, consultez le billet à ce sujet, Pertes urinaires : Grossesse et période postnatale.

According to the Institut national de santé Publique du Québec, urinary incontinence means ” the involuntary and uncontrollable loss of urine “. It can occur suddenly or gradually. But the severity will always increase over time.

According to the statistics, between 42-53% of pregnant women will have uncontrollable urine loss during pregnancy, and about 33% during the first 3 months after childbirth, and 40% during the first year after delivery. For the general female population, 20-30% of young women have urinary incontinence, which increases to 40% for middle-aged women, and 60% for older women. You can guess what kind of impacts this can have over the long term, and understand why acting today will have both short and long-term benefits.

Types of incontinence:

  •       Stress (50%)
  •       Urge (14%)
  •       Mixed (32%)
  •       Others (4%)

What is NOT normal:

  •       A burning sensation when urinating;
  •       Regular urine or stool loss during pregnancy and the postnatal period;
  •       Urinary incontinence, even occasional, for more than three months after childbirth.

Research on urinary incontinence:

Several in-depth scientific studies about the topic state that it is essential to intervene early to prevent urinary incontinence but supporting perineal training as a first step. Researchers are clear that pelvic floor exercises and bladder training are more effective than medication. Strengthening exercises will reduce the risk of incontinence after childbirth by 55%. Prevention is better than having to cure because longer you have urine loss during pregnancy, and after delivery, the longer it will last. Urinary incontinence can be caused by the weakening of the pelvic floor during pregnancy and childbirth, tearing, an episiotomy or abdominal diastasis.

Pelvic floor exercises may seem easy for some, but few women actually contract appropriately and efficiently after only hearing verbal instructions. In contrast, more than 80% of women will have better control if their exercises were clinically supervised. That is why official recommendations promote strengthening the pelvic floor as early as possible during pregnancy and all the way through to childbirth. These exercises should restart during the postnatal period after recovery. The exercises aim at maintaining the expected roles of the pelvic muscles (supporting organs, sexual functions and childbirth), and urine, stool and gas continence (retention) to avoid associated short and long-term inconveniences.

To continue reading, go to Recommendations from my expert, Marie-Ève.

Pour poursuivre la lecture, rendez-vous au billet, Les recommandations de ma pro, Marie-Ève.