Delivering a new baby is one of the most miraculous events in many women's lives, but pregnancy and childbirth can cause a number of gynecological and urological issues that persist long after delivery. These issues can be inconvenient, uncomfortable, and embarrassing, but you don't have to learn to just live with them. Urogynecologists are specially trained OB/GYNs who understand the unique problems women face after childbirth, and they can assist you in getting the treatment that you need to correct the issue. Some of the most common urogynecological problems after pregnancy and delivery include:

Urinary Incontinence

If you suffer from urinary incontinence, you may leak urine when doing normal activities such as sneezing, laughing, coughing, lifting something heavy, or taking a jog. This often occurs because giving birth can weaken the pelvic floor muscles and damage supportive tissue and nerves connected to the bladder. Minor cases of urinary incontinence may be helped by regular Kegels exercises to help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. Weight loss and bladder training are also typically recommended. In severe cases, especially if a prolapsed bladder is involved, surgery may be required.

Uterine Prolapse

Weak or over stretched pelvic floor muscles provide inadequate support for the uterus, which can lead to the uterus falling out of place and protruding into the vagina. This condition can cause painful intercourse, a feeling of pressure in the vagina, and sores on the area of the uterus that is within the birth canal. Moderate cases of uterine prolapse may be treated with a pessary, which is a device that is inserted into the vagina to help provide support and keep your uterus in its proper place. More severe cases of uterine prolapse may require surgery to repair damaged pelvic floor muscles, or your doctor may recommend a hysterectomy.

Bowel Incontinence

Women with bowel incontinence may leak fecal matter or have poor control over bowel movements. This condition is common in women who give vaginal birth and experience severe posterior tears or must have large episiotomies in order to deliver the baby safely. Stool bulking agents and dietary changes may help minor cases of bowel incontinence, while severe cases may require reconstructive surgery to correct the problem.

Bladder Prolapse

The front wall of the vagina supports the bladder, so when this area stretches out too much or is damaged during childbirth, it is possible for the bladder to slip into the vagina. This condition may be treated with a pessary, or your doctor may recommend bladder suspension surgery or vault suspensions, which will secure your vaginal wall to a durable pelvic structure in order to keep your bladder in place.

To learn more, contact a center like Western Branch Center for Women.