Bladder Issues After A C-Section

Whether your first Cesarean section, more commonly referred to as a C-section, was planned or an impromptu medical necessity, it will take your body longer to recover than had you given birth vaginally. Your body has undergone major surgery, so complications may arise. Infections can occur at both the incision site and the internal organs. With a C-section, there is an increased risk of hemorrhaging. Another possible serious complication is injury to the organs, whether directly or indirectly, from adhesions, which is scar tissue that attaches to organs and the abdominal cavity. One common C-section complication can result in bladder issues.

Frequent Urination

Regardless of the delivery method, frequent urination is common immediately after giving birth. This is simply your body working as it should to get rid of the excess fluid that was required during pregnancy, but this should revert to normal after the first week or two postpartum.

Stress Incontinence

If you are still having a bladder issue after the first two weeks, you may be suffering from stress incontinence. While this is more common in women who have given birth vaginally, it can still happen with a C-section. Pregnancy puts a lot of stress on the abdominal muscles and the ligaments and tendons that support the pelvic floor. The weakened muscles may allow a small amount of urine to escape when sneezing, laughing, or coughing. It is also more common in smokers and women who are overweight. If you find you have this issue, you can do several things to deal with it:

  • Wear a panty liner specifically designed for bladder issues
  • Stop smoking
  • Lose weight
  • Do Kegel exercises to strengthen your pelvic muscles
  • Tighten your muscles when you feel a sneeze or cough coming on
  • Empty your bladder frequently

Additionally, if you have a burning sensation when you urinate, go to the doctor immediately; this is likely a bacterial urinary tract infection and will require antibiotics. Most trauma to the bladder that is inadvertently caused by a C-section will repair itself, but if you are still having bladder issues six months postpartum, discuss it with your doctor to ensure there isn't a more serious problem. Scar tissue adhesions may be "growing" on the bladder, or it may have been nicked with the scalpel during surgery. A bladder injury may require additional surgery, or you may just need a catheter to keep the bladder empty for a while.  

For more information, contact local professionals like Alliance For Women's Health, Inc.