Giving birth changes your life in immeasurable ways, and most of them for the better. There are, however, some unwelcome side effects that can develop after childbirth, including problems with incontinence.
If you’re among the scores of women who struggle with urinary incontinence after pregnancy because of an overactive bladder, there are two things we want you to know: (1) You’re not alone; and (2) We can help resolve the problem.
As one of the area’s leading urologists, Dr. Robert Cornell has considerable experience helping both men and women overcome incontinence problems using a wide range of approaches.
In the following, we explore why you may have developed an overactive bladder (OAB) and what we can do to help.
Behind postpregnancy problems with OAB
During your pregnancy, you may have developed some minor issues with incontinence, which makes sense given that your growing baby placed more pressure on your urinary tract, namely on your bladder and on your bladder sphincter.
In many cases, these incontinence problems resolve themselves shortly after childbirth, but many women are left with ongoing OAB, which may be caused by:
- A weakened pelvic floor
- Nerve damage to your bladder
- Movement of your urethra and bladder because of pregnancy
- An episiotomy
To put some numbers to the problem, at least 40% of women in the United States have OAB, mainly due to pregnancy and menopause.
Finding solutions for your overactive bladder
If your quality of life is suffering because of OAB, the good news is that we offer plenty of solutions. The first step toward freedom is to have Dr. Cornell thoroughly evaluate your problem so that he can decide the best steps.
To give you an idea of the broad range of treatment options, here are some examples:
- Oral medications or patches that control bladder spasms
- Interstim neuromodulation to regulate nerve impulses
- Botox® injections to quiet the muscles in your bladder
- Intravesical (bladder instillation) agents for OAB related to interstitial cystitis
- Injectable bulking agents to tighten your urethra
In most cases, we start out conservatively with medications and lifestyle changes, such as:
- Avoiding caffeine
- Bladder retraining
- Pelvic floor exercises
- Losing weight
If your OAB proves resistant to these measures, we move on to injections or nerve stimulation to help you better control the impulses in your bladder.
Rest assured, we work diligently until you find relief from your OAB, allowing you the freedom to enjoy motherhood without worrying about urinary incontinence.
If you’re struggling with OAB and want to explore your solutions, contact our office in Houston, Texas, to get started.