Pelvic floor problems during pregnancy?

Pregnancy...the favourite time of your life? Or maybe not...

Of course, this is a wonderful period that you should cherish and enjoy!
But let's be honest... there is a lot involved, isn't there?
Your body is changing. A process that continues every day... unstoppable....
Sometimes it's fun, but sometimes it can be frightening or it can bring complaints and discomfort.

Yes, that is part of it and sometimes even normal...
No, we don't want to complain...
But we do want to give reassuring and honest information!

Pelvic floor problems during pregnancy?
We would like to list the most common complaints:

  • Having to visit the toilet very regularly (often for smaller pee's).
  • Very frequent (more than usual) urge to urinate.
  • Regular leakage: wet underwear after coughing, sneezing, laughing or jumping suddenly, for example...
  • Difficulty holding up urine.
  • Having to get up one or more times at night to pee.
  • Difficulty emptying your bladder in the toilet in a relaxed manner.
  • Constipation, difficulty in making bowel movements.
  • Difficulty holding back farts when it is not appropriate to just let them go.
  • Having pain during sexual intercourse.
  • A feeling of heaviness or sinking in the pelvic floor.
  • Haemorrhoids
  • Swollen or swollen pubic area (maybe even with varicose veins in the pubic area?)
Some of these complaints may sound like a 'far from your bed' show,
but others may be very recognisable?

More than 60% of pregnant women have occasional leaks...

So pelvic floor problems are very common!

Add to that the fact that many pregnant women may specifically avoid certain things/activities just because they are afraid of not being able to hold their urine.
Or because they want to avoid other inconveniences...
So it is possible that the real figures are much higher.

Think also of women who really suffer from the accumulated pressure in their abdomen (constipation).
The pregnancy itself already takes up some space,
the baby exerts some pressure.
Extra tension due to constipation is something we can do without...

Are pelvic floor problems common? YES!
Are they dangerous? NO!
Should we do something about it? YES!

Why should we hide the truth?
The symptoms indicate that your body is having a hard time in some areas because of the pregnancy...

So can you do anything about it? Yes, perhaps there is.

Just trying to discuss it with your gynaecologist, interested family doctor, pelvic floor and perinatal physiotherapist or midwife can help!

Together with them, find out whether you can benefit from exercises, dietary adjustments, any extra/other vitamin supplements, exercise advice, etc.

Your body is making a FANTASTIC WONDERFUL effort.
The least you can do is give it the extra attention it needs!
Take care of yourself... and let yourself be taken care of!

Hedwig Neels,
Women's Health and Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist.

PS Follow us and read the blog post
"Pelvic floor muscle exercises during pregnancy: to do or not to do?" soon.



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