What Motherhood Does to Your Body

Your bladder

Pelvic muscles, including the muscles that control the urethral sphincter, can be traumatized by labor, weakening the muscle tone. The majority of moms gain back most of their bladder control after about a year, according to Gary Leach, M.D., director of Tower Urology Institute for Continence at Cedar Sinai, in Los Angeles. For a small number of women, incontinence is an ongoing problem, causing tiny amounts of urine to leak under such stresses as jogging, laughing, sneezing, and even orgasm. Doing Kegel exercises, tiny contractions that strengthen your pelvic muscles, may help.

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