Can you fix light bladder leakage after hysterectomy?

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Do sneezing, laughing, and coughing make you wet your pants?

For all the women having issues with bladder leakage after hysterectomy, it is good to know that there are various ways to fix a weak bladder.

sanitary pads for bladder leakage after hysterectomy

However, before starting any treatment, you must talk to your doctor to identify what type of incontinence you struggle with.

Specific events in a woman’s life, like pregnancy and childbirth, may affect
the urinary tract structures and nerves and cause problems as she gets older.

Factors that may cause urinary incontinence are:

  • Being overweight. When you carry around too much weight, it will put extra pressure on the bladder. Over time, the muscles will weaken, and you will have problems holding your urine. 
  • Chronic constipationWhen you have to strain each time you have a bowel movement, your pelvic muscles will get weaker from the continued pressure. This can cause urinary incontinence as well.
  • Menopause. Commonly, muscle mass decreases as part of the aging process, and so do the pelvic muscles as a woman ages. When the pelvic floor loses its strength, it can often not handle the increased abdominal pressure when a woman coughs, sneezes or lifts something heavy. 
  • Gynecology Surgery. Surgeries that affect the reproductive organs, like removing the uterus, can injure nerve tissues and the pelvic floor muscles. When the pelvic floor loses its muscle tone, women may experience urinary incontinence.

Shortly after a hysterectomy, you may have temporary urinary incontinence. Postoperative urinary tract infections may cause short-term loss of bladder control. Usually, this resolves itself when the infection has healed. Read more about bladder problems after a hysterectomy.

How to stop bladder leakage after hysterectomy?

Regardless of the cause of your bladder leakage, there are options to improve it considerably in most cases. One approach that can help is to train the muscles that support your bladder. At no time in a woman’s life should she consider urinary incontinence (leakage) as something normal or what she can expect as she ages.

You can try several things to get better bladder control and fix light bladder leakage. Here are a few hints you can easily incorporate into your daily life that will help to correct embarrassing bladder leakage after a hysterectomy.

1# Beware of what you eat or drink

Certain foods and beverages have a diuretic effect and fill your bladder more quickly than others. Simply by avoiding alcohol and caffeine, you will put less strain on your bladder and prevent unwelcome bladder leakage. The same goes for how much fluid you drink. Don’t go over the recommended daily amounts.

2# Manage your weight

You want to consider losing a few pounds if you are overweight. When you lose the excess weight, you may notice fewer bladder leaking incidents, or they will disappear entirely.
Click here if you need help losing weight after a hysterectomy.

3# Eat high-fiber foods to avoid constipation

Stick to a diet rich in fiber, with lots of fruit, veggies, and whole grains. This will ensure you have regular bowel movements without too much straining, protecting your pelvic floor.

4# Quit smoking

Generally, smokers cough more than non-smokers. People who smoke create more mucus in their lungs, so they constantly cough to clear their airways. I suggest you quit smoking to stop coughing, which puts much strain on your pelvic floor.

5# Exercise to control the bladder leakage after hysterectomy

Kegel exercises will help your pelvic floor to regain its strength. Regular tightening of the pelvic muscles will increase your ability to hold your urine. You can read more in our post: How to do pelvic floor exercises after hysterectomy? You can get professional help from a doctor or pelvic floor therapist.

 6# Avoid lifting heavy items

When you regularly lift heavy weights, you put a lot of strain on your pelvic floor muscles. This may weaken those muscles, and you have a greater risk of pelvic organ prolapse and bladder/bowel incontinence.

Other treatment options for bladder leakage after hysterectomy

Vaginal Pessaries

Women can have a pessary inserted in the vagina to stop urine leakage. How does this work? The pessary will push against the urethra to keep it closed, but you can still pass urine normally if you have to. 

Occasionally, women wear this device just when exercising, but most women leave it in, as not everyone is comfortably reinserting the pessary by themself. If you have no trouble inserting a pessary, remove and wash it with mild soap two times a week. This way you can use the same pessary for up to three months. Please note pessaries also need to be taken out before you have intercourse.

How to insert a pessary


Biofeedback can help women to train their pelvic muscles correctly. What happens during biofeedback therapy? They place two small sensors with an adhesive pad on both sides of your anus. Here, the pelvic floor muscles are nearest to the skin. They can put them under your “not too tight” clothing. At the same time, another pair of sensors go on the abdomen. When you exercise the pelvic muscles, these sensors send signals to a computer. The graphs and audible tones display the muscle activity and enable the therapist to measure the strength of your pelvic muscles. They can adapt the exercise program to your personal needs and track your progress with each visit.

Urethral Bulking Agents

Another way they sometimes treat bladder leakage is by injecting a substance (bulking agents) into the outer walls of the urethra. It is a low-risk, outpatient procedure that will help you hold your urine better. This is a possible treatment for women who do not want to undergo surgery, who still desire to become pregnant, are not fit to have surgery, or have had failed surgeries. However, remember there may be a need for a repeat injection.

 Surgery intervention for bladder leakage

Usually, surgery to treat bladder incontinence is the final step in resolution after all other lifestyle modifications and medications have failed. 

Click here for more about bladder prolapse surgery with mesh repair.

Bladder leakage products for after a hysterectomy

Protective pads and underwear are, without doubt, everyday products available for women who are dealing with bladder leakage. You can choose from a wide variety of sizes and styles. Here are a few of the most well-known products.

Super absorbent bladder leakage pads

My favorite is Poise Incontinence Pads for women with odor control. They give 12-hour worry-free protection while keeping you dry and comfortable throughout your day.

Incontinence panties and briefs 

Women can wear these like everyday underwear. However, they are a bit bulkier as some are padded to hold up to about 5 ounces of urine. Being reusable and washable, it’s an economical solution as you can use them repeatedly.

Speax by Thinx – Looking at these leak protection panties, it is hard to separate them from regular everyday underwear. Just like incontinence pads, this underwear is made to keep dampness from your skin that may cause irritation and rashes. They are highly comfortable briefs for women suffering from light to modest bladder leaks. Speax underwear is made of breathable, soft material, and several sizes and colors are available. To find your style, click here.

Disposable bladder leakage underwear

Incontinence underwear for women has progressed since my grandmother had these issues. When we would go on a trip, she always used to have 4 to 5 extra panties in her bag. We used to laugh a lot, so there were a lot of leaky accidents. Fortunately, now you can find a variety of washable, leakproof underwear available to buy online. 

One of the best products in this category is incontinence-protective underwear from Prevail. This disposable underwear is exceptionally comfortable and has a smooth, discreet fit that feels almost like real underwear. They are unisex and come in several sizes. 

Disposable incontinence underpads

The purpose of these pads is to protect the mattresses, bedding, and sheets from accidental leaks. They often use them in hospitals but can also be very useful at home. They also come in handy when you are traveling. You can sleep without having to worry about wetting the mattress. 

In a nutshell

Generally, the first attempt to fix light bladder leakage starts with the behavioral changes we listed. Modifying your diet, losing weight, stopping smoking, and starting pelvic floor exercises may significantly impact that further treatment may not be necessary. However, when your bladder leakage after hysterectomy is or becomes more severe, don’t be embarrassed to discuss this with your doctor. He can help you find the best treatment option to help you regain complete bladder control.


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