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Why is stress incontinence a problem that I should worry about?

All new mothers risk suffering from embarrassing leaks because of damage caused to the pelvic floor and vaginal canal during childbirth. Unless active steps are taken to strengthen the pelvic floor after childbirth the problem can persist for your lifetime. Even those women that experience few symptoms in the early years will face major problems as the natural changes following menopause cause the vaginal muscles to atrophy and weaken.

Stress incontinence is most often caused by the stretching of the pelvic floor muscles during childbirth but there are other contributory factors such as lack of exercise, obesity and even sexual activity. In recent surveys up to half of new mothers reported bladder control problems but to suffer the problem for any more than a few weeks is neither normal nor acceptable.

It is estimated that between 5 and 7 million women in the UK suffer with stress incontinence including a third of all new mothers and one in ten women in the workplace.

There is a considerable lack of awareness of the problem, its causes and its cure and there is strong evidence that women at large, and new mothers in particular, have been conditioned to 'put up and shut up'.

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