We prepare ourselves the best we can for children, reading books and mommy blogs to familiarize ourselves with what we can expect the rest of our lives to look like. Unfortunately, there is a lot of information about becoming a mother that is underemphasized or left out completely. 

You can picture a baby in your arms but don’t realize how quickly you will need to master doing everything – yes, everything – with one hand. You hear about the “Terrible Twos” but don’t fully grasp this concept until your toddler is crying because you gave them the purple Peppa Pig cup instead of the pink one (even though they did, in fact, ask for purple). There are certain challenges to parenthood that many of us can relate to, but a more significant heads-up warning would have been appreciated!

Here is your motherhood warning of the day: nearly ⅔ of postpartum women experience some degree of urinary incontinence. If you are affected, you might involuntarily leak a bit of urine when you sneeze, laugh, exercise, or do anything else that’s strenuous.

Why does this occur?

The events associated with both pregnancy and the delivery process are strenuous on the muscles and soft tissues of the pelvic region. Normally, there are muscles surrounding your urethra which squeeze tightly as your bladder fills, preventing leaks until you are ready to use the bathroom. Following delivery, these muscles tend to stretch and lose their strength, preventing them from doing their job correctly. The result? Leaking urine that is out of your control.

Unless you’ve experienced it, it’s hard to wrap your head around the consequences of urinary incontinence and how it will affect your day-to-day life. So what does this actually look like? You might need to wear a pad or adult diaper to catch any leaks. You may need to get up in the middle of the night consistently to use the washroom. The risk of leaking might discourage you from participating in your favourite activities or exercise classes. You’ll learn the maximum amount of time you have between bathroom breaks, and any road trips will involve knowing every public washroom along the way. For some individuals, the experience of urinary incontinence can be debilitating and greatly impair quality of life.

Enough with the bad, now I’ve got good news!

For most women, the postpartum urinary incontinence is short-lived, typically resolving on its own within one year. For those women whose symptoms do not resolve in a timely manner, there are treatment options available.

Kegel exercises contract and relax the muscles of the pelvic floor, helping to regain strength in these muscles. Our EMSELLA treatment for urinary incontinence can achieve 11,000 perfectly completed Kegels in only 28 minutes. It uses High-Intensity Focused Electromagnetic (HIFEM) energy to induce strong muscle contractions in the pelvic floor, strengthening them so that you can improve bladder control. The treatment is completely non-invasive; you can simply sit, completely clothed, for the entire 30 minutes of the procedure.

If this treatment sounds like something you might benefit from, I’d be happy to meet with you in a consultation appointment to discuss EMSELLA in greater detail. Issues of incontinence should not take away from your quality of life, and I’m here to help.

Dr. Erin Lovett, BSc, MD, FRCSC