Pregnancy can definitely cause urinary incontinence. If you’ve ever heard a pregnant woman say that she has to cross her legs when she sneezes, it truly isn’t a joking matter. During pregnancy, the weight of the uterus can press on the bladder, causing the need for frequent urination, as well as for those “false alarms” that are so famous amongst pregnant women. Urinary incontinence can also be caused by the stress of the pregnancy, along with rapidly changing hormone levels. While urinary incontinence is somewhat normal during pregnancy, be sure to mention it at your next office visit if it is becoming more of a problem.
Giving birth vaginally may also cause urinary incontinence to set in. This type of delivery can even somewhat weaken muscles that are key components for bladder control. Vaginal delivery may also damage the nerves of the bladder and surrounding areas. This can sometimes lead to what is called a prolapse, when the small intestine, rectum, bladder or uterus are pushed deeper down into the body and into the vagina, which will lead to urinary incontinence. While these conditions can frequently occur after childbirth, be sure to manage them before the urinary incontinence becomes severe.