I’m 16 weeks pregnant. Sometimes I leak urine when I laugh or cough. Does this mean my bladder has fallen? Will this continue after I deliver? What can I do to help prevent this from happening?
Urine leakage is especially common during the first and second trimesters. The explanation is simple. The uterus is resting on top of the bladder, like a head resting on a pillow. It stays this way until the sixth or seventh month, when the uterus has grown large enough to take pressure off the bladder.
Every time you cough or sneeze, you put pressure on your bladder. So does the baby; together these factors contribute to urine leakage. This does not mean you have a dropped bladder or will suffer from incontinence after your baby is born.
The best way to deal with your concern is to urinate often, wear mini-pads and do Kegel exercises, which help strengthen the muscles encircling the genitals and bladder. They may not stop bladder leakage, but they will help reduce problems after the baby is born.
Many women suffer from the loss of urine late in pregnancy. This happens most commonly when standing. Once again, your little bundle of joy is using your bladder as a trampoline.
It’s important to distinguish leaking urine from your bag of water leaking. There are a few hints to help you make this determination. If leakage occurs while sitting, trickles down your leg or you notice a gush of fluid, your amniotic sac most likely has broken. You should speak with your doctor.
If you notice dampness on your underwear or a watery discharge when you stand up and it doesn’t recur, you have most likely not broken your water. I want to be clear that this is a general statement. If you have any questions regarding leaking fluid, you should speak with your health care provider.
Our parenting advice is given as suggestions only. We recommend you also consult your healthcare provider, and urge you to contact them immediately if your question is urgent or about a medical condition.