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September 26, 2018

My wife can’t control her bladder after giving birth

Valentine, my problem is very embarrassing, so please change my name. My wife had our first born about seven months ago and since then she seems to have a problem controlling her urination. She will not completely urinate on herself but sometimes it leaks. It is a turn off.

What can we do? Also how do I tell her?

Isaac

 

First off, congratulations on the baby, Isaac. Secondly, I am sorry about what seems to be a huge problem but really isn’t. Post-partum incontinence is actually quite common and thankfully quite treatable.

The pubococcygeal muscle, also called the PC muscle, stretches from the bottom tip of the spine to the pelvic bone and supports our reproductive organs. As you can imagine, carrying the weight of a baby especially in the last three months of pregnancy and the trauma of childbirth can put a lot of strain on this muscle and it can lose its strength.

The great thing with muscular tissue is that it responds to exercise. By doing Kegel exercises, your wife can restore her pelvic floor to its former tightness and glory.

Show her this article and if she guesses that it is indeed you who wrote, simply confess that you didn’t know who else to ask.

I think her gratitude at having found a solution will outweigh all other emotions.

Both men and women benefit from these exercises so I suggest you do them too. Start by stopping the flow of urine next time you are in the loo; this helps you identify the PC muscle. Finish urinating, and do not get into the habit of stopping your flow, just do it once.

Lie down on your back and raise your knees so they are about hip width apart and your arms are flat by your side. Take a deep breath and on the exhale, clench the muscles that you used to stop urinating. You should feel a tightening from your anus, through your pelvis and up to your abdominal muscles and you can flex those too.

Your pelvic floor works in tandem with the abdominal and this is another reason for postpartum incontinence.

The motion sounds complex but it will eventually flow fluidly — deep inhale, on the exhale, flex the pelvic floor then pull in the abs as if you are trying to zip up tight jeans. Relax as you breathe in then repeat as you breathe out. Do about 12 of these three times a day.

Your wife can do these kegel exercises in traffic, while watching TV or in bed. She should also avoid heavy lifting.

Good luck to both of you and remember, this is just a season in your marriage, and it shall pass.

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