Pelvic Floor after Pregnancy


Many of us have experienced the “pee a little when you sneeze” phenomenon. Urinary incontinence isn’t something you have to live with – and it isn’t a normal part of pregnancy and post-partum life.

Pregnancy and leaking urine: why does it happen?

More than 46 percent of pregnant women have trouble with leaking urine. Following pregnancy, one in three women report having decreased bladder control after childbirth – and almost 80 percent of women are unable to properly contract their pelvic floor muscles one year after having a baby.

“Pregnancy and labor/delivery causes increased stress on the pelvic floor,” says Keri Sands, Physical Therapist at St. Elizabeth. “It can sometimes weaken pelvic floor muscles that support as well as maintain normal bladder control.”

Common pelvic floor issues after pregnancy include:

  • Pelvic pain
  • Vaginal pain
  • Perineal pain
  • Episiotomy/tearing
  • Dyspareunia (pain during intercourse)
  • Pelvic organ prolapse
  • Urinary incontinence

The Pelvic Floor Physical Therapists at St. Elizabeth Healthcare are here to help. We offer specialized services to help strengthen and/or relax pelvic floor muscles to improve bladder control and reduce urinary leakage. Additionally, pelvic floor physical therapy can improve bowel control, reduce pelvic pain and improve your sex life. Pelvic floor physical therapy can also help prepare pregnant women for childbirth.

Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy

If you are experiencing a pelvic floor issue, there are many treatment options available to help. Our specialized pelvic floor physical therapists will evaluate your needs and create a specialized treatment plan just for you. Treatments may include:

  • Therapeutic exercises – strengthen and/or relax the muscles.
  • Manual therapy – includes myofascial or trigger point release, joint mobilizations, soft tissue massage and muscle energy techniques.
  • Biofeedback – training to improve awareness of the pelvic floor muscles for strengthening or relaxation.
  • Relaxation exercises – to reduce muscle tension and improve muscle activation.
  • Education – lifestyle changes including regular exercise and diet modifications.
  • Electrotherapy – for pain management and to stimulate or relax pelvic muscles.
  • Other options – ultrasound, moist heat or ice packs.

St. Elizabeth Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy

If you are interested in regaining control over your pelvic floor issues, we’re here to help. Our specialists recommend seeking help as soon as possible for quicker results and recovery.

St. Elizabeth has three physical therapists that specialize in Women’s Health and Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy. A doctor’s referral is needed for physical therapy at both the Florence and Edgewood locations.

For more information or to schedule a private evaluation by one of our specially trained physical therapists, call (859) 212-5400.