Weight Loss And Incontinence Risk

Published:November 23rd, 2010

A new study suggested that how much weight a woman loses after childbirth can affect the risk of urinary incontinence and this is not related to how much weight a woman gains during pregnancy. There have been previous studies which have shown that excessive weight is associated with an increased risk of urinary incontinence.

The new study involved 13,000 Norwegian women during their first-time pregnancy, but researchers found a weak relationship between pregnancy weight gain and the risk of urinary incontinence during the pregnancy period. The findings were surprising because for decades obstetricians have considered that weight gain during pregnancy explains the peak in urinary incontinence during pregnancy.

Women who lose more weight after childbirth have a lower risk of incontinence six months after they give birth, and weight gain after giving birth is linked to a higher risk. Although it is not known exactly why weight changes after pregnancy are related to incontinence risk, researchers have emphasized that the type of weight gain is important.

Body fat is the main contributor to weight gain but during pregnancy excess weight is due to the fetus, placenta and body fluids.

Women who suffered from urinary incontinence during pregnancy were less likely to have the same problem if they lose weight after giving birth. For every two pounds lost an associated two percent drop was registered for the risk of having incontinence problems.

Excessive weight gain during pregnancy is not harmless, it may raise the risk of pregnancy related diabetes, and it is also much more difficult to shed later.


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