Bladder and bowel for pregnant women

Being pregnant and giving birth can affect your bladder and bowel heath. Find out what problems you can experience when pregnant and how to manage them.

Bladder and bowel control problems can be a part of pregnancy and childbirth. 1 in 3 women who have had a baby, have wet themselves at some point.

You are more likely to develop a problem if you have:

  • your first baby
  • a large baby
  • a long labour
  • a difficult vaginal birth
  • a tear that needed stitches around your vagina
  • had forceps or vacuum to deliver your baby

Constipation, ongoing coughing and being overweight can also increase your risk of developing bladder or bowel control problems.

What problems might you experience?

If you have a bladder or bowel problem you might:

  • leak wee (urine) when you cough, sneeze or exercise
  • not make it to the toilet in time
  • not be able to control your wind (farts)
  • have an urgent need to do a poo
  • soil your clothes
  • be constipated

What can you do to avoid problems?

There are some simple things you can do to help avoid bladder and bowel problems when you are expecting a baby. They include:

Last updated: 
11 December 2019

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