Did you know leaking urine is common during and after pregnancy?
Urinary incontinence in women or leaky bladder as the condition is sometimes known, can be caused by a myriad of factors, such as hormonal changes, weakened pelvic floor muscles after pregnancy, neurological conditions, infections, having an overactive bladder, and ageing. Urinary incontinence can be a temporary issue, or a long-term condition depending on the cause.
Pregnancy often leads to incontinence in women during pregnancy and also postpartum. Stress urinary incontinence (SUI) is the most common type of urinary incontinence (UI) in pregnant women and is known to have detrimental effects on the quality of life in approximately 54.3 % of women. During pregnancy, the unborn baby puts pressure on the pelvic muscles which increases the urge to urinate. Additionally, the change of hormones can also negatively affect the lining of the urethra and bladder. Incontinence can also continue postpartum if routine pelvic strengthening exercises are not followed.
How can urinary incontinence affect day-to-day life?
Living with urinary incontinence can be challenging and inconvenient, and may affect quality of life if not controlled:
– Sleep quality: Trying to catch some shut-eye during pregnancy can be challenging at the best of times, but frequent night-time bathroom visits and an overwhelming urgency to visit the bathroom can significantly disrupt sleep even more. As adequate sleep is essential for general health and recovery, incontinence may contribute to day-time drowsiness, difficulty concentrating, and fatigue.
– Planning bathroom visits: Leaving the house? Lack of access to toilet facilities could discourage people from visiting places or socialising.
– Work and Social life: Incontinence can affect a woman’s confidence, concentration at work, performance, ability to complete tasks without interruptions and social gatherings.
Natural Support for Urinary Incontinence
A herbal extract sourced from an organically certified island – close to the edge of the Arctic Circle, off the Icelandic coastline, has demonstrated beneficial effects on an overactive bladder. In a randomised controlled trial on a group, supplementation with 200mg of organic Angelica archangelica leaf extract significantly reduced nocturia (toilet visits during the night) and improved total bladder volume.
Pumpkin seed extract has also been shown to help with urinary incontinence. In a double-blind trial over 12 weeks, 218mg of pumpkin seed extract alongside soya germ in women was found to significantly reduce urination urgency and nocturia.
These herbal extracts are only suitable for use post pregnancy after breastfeeding has stopped.
What should I look for in a supplement?
Always read the label to check the source of the ingredients. Choose high quality supplements which contain 100% active ingredients – no binders or fillers. Check the amount of active ingredient as this can vary. Visit your local health store for more details, help and support www.findahealthstore.com
Author: Aimee Benbow, BSc (Hons), MSc, ANutr. is Director of Nutrition at ethical vitamin company Viridian Nutrition. Working in the food and supplements industry for over 11 years, she has supported people’s health through product development, advice and education. For more information visit www.viridian-nutrition.com
This article is for information purposes and does not refer to any individual products. The information contained in this article is not intended to treat, diagnose or replace the advice of a health practitioner. Please consult a qualified health practitioner if you have a pre-existing health condition or are currently taking medication. Food supplements should not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet