Bladder and bowel problems in pregnancy and the postnatal period


Urinary leakage in pregnancy or soon after is common but should never be accepted as 'normal'. There is plenty that can be done to help resolve this embarrassing and uncomfortable problem.

Bowel leakage can also be problematic for some women, especially after delivery. 

Why is this occurring?

  • Childbirth- weakening and stretching muscles and nerves in the pelvic floor. Women who have had one baby are nearly 3 times more likely to leak urine and wet themselves.
  • Weight gain in pregnancy
  • Hormonal changes in pregnancy
  • Excessive exercise cause the pelvic floor muscles to be over tightened
  • Holding tension in pelvic floor muscles as a stress response
  • Constipation
  • Repeated heavy lifting and straining

What are the signs and symptoms?

  • Leakage of urine when you cough, sneeze, lift, laugh or do exercise
  • Inability to control passing wind
  • Feel an urgent need to empty your bladder or bowel
  • Leak bowel motion after you have been to the toilet

Will it just get better?

Unfortunately, the leaking is not likely to go away unless you take steps to strengthen the weakened muscles.

What can be done to help me?

We know 50% of people are performing their pelvic floor exercises incorrectly, 30% are causing further damage.

However, evidence shows a correct technique assessed by a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist combined with individualised program pelvic floor program can significantly reduce prolapse symptoms.

We can also provide expert advice regarding reducing aggravating factors and modifying general exercise programs