Skip to content
Includes Expert Content
Does incontinence cause physical changes?
An_191902 posted:
I'm hoping someone may be able to help me. I'm not quite sure what's wrong with me. For a few months now I've had a hard time making it to the bathroom in time. It's actually quite embarrassing, as I am only 33 yrs old. I have a constant urge to go to the bathroom even when I know I don't have to go. There has been a physical change to my body as well. The muscles around my vaginal area seem to have weakened. I'm not even sure if that's the right term to use. I just know that things used to be tight down there and now they're not. My husband and I both feel the difference when we have sex. We used to fit perfectly together but now it's loose. Sometimes after we make love it burns down there, which has never happened before either. Sometimes it even burns after I shower. I had a hysterectomy when I was 23 and all three of my children were C-sections, so why is everything different all of the sudden when I've done nothing differently? I've been to three gynocologists and they keep telling me that everything is normal. It's NOT normal to be experiencing all of these changes. To make things worse, my husband thinks that the only way I could have changed so much physically is by having an affair, which I absolutely did not. Has anyone out there ever been through anything like this? Can you please help me to understand what is happening to me? Depression is starting to set in and I'm very scared that my husband is going to leave me before I even find out what the problem is!
Lainey_WebMD_Staff responded:
Hi Anon_101327,

Kegels might help with your bladder problems:

Here is another interesting read for you and your husband.
It might help you understand what happens to your vaginal muscle after a hysterectomy.

Because of your hysterectomy I would also post this question on our Menopause community too.

Please keep us updated.
Diane K Newman, RN-C, MSN, ANP responded:
Incontinence does not cause physical changes but physical changes in your pelvic floor muscle and urinary sphincter can cause incontinence. I do not know when you were last pregnant but pregnancy and childbirth can cause your pelvic floor muscle and urinary sphincter to weaken.

It sounds as though you may have an overactive bladder which is when you experience symptoms of urgency—a sudden and strong desire to go to the bathroom, frequency—going to the bathroom more than 8 times in a day, nocturia which is waking up at night to urinate or wet the bed while asleep. Many people also experience day and nighttime urinary incontinence which is urine leakage on the why to the bathroom, after sudden urgency or when you cough, laugh or sneeze or exercise.

I suggest you learn about behavioral treatment programs which include pelvic floor muscle exercises as well as bladder training for urgency and frequency. Pelvic muscle exercises strengthen muscles that support the bladder and the urethra. These exercises have been shown to decrease urinary leakage. Bladder retraining is controlling urgency using strategies that can help relax the bladder and delay voiding. I would also suggest dietary modifications. There are certain foods and beverages that contain ingredients that can cause bladder irritability. I list these on my website and they include any foods and drinks that contain caffeine such as coffee, tea, chocolate, soft drinks. Also I find that spicy foods, citrus foods, juices and tomato based products may also trigger urinary urgency/frequency and incontinence.
An_191903 replied to Diane K Newman, RN-C, MSN, ANP's response:
Thanks for your response. My hysterectomy took place over 11 years ago. I asked the doctors about vaginal prolapse and all three of them looked at me as if I were crazy. Appearantly these sort of changes take place over a number of years, and I am telling them that it happened over the course of a few days. I had sex with my husband one day and it was normal. A few days later, it was as if three of him could have fit in there. My husband freaked out a few months prior to this, accusing me of cheating on him and I couldn't figure out why. Now he tells me that it felt the same way then as it does now. This is very embarrassing to speak of but I have no one else to ask. I have honestly never cheated on my husband. Adultery would never even be an option for me. The only difference that I've noticed is my overactive bladder, which is what led me to wonder if there could be some sort of connection between the two. I've been dealing with menopausal symptoms for 11 years. This is something that even the doctors can't help me with??!! I go to them with a problem and they treat me as if I've lost my mind. I really need some advise. Please tell me that someone has been through something like this before. My whole life is going to walk out of the door if I can't find the answer before my husband leaves.

Helpful Tips

How to prevent UTIsExpert
Changing some of your daily habits may help you avoid urinary tract infections. Drink lots of fluid to flush the bacteria from your ... More
Was this Helpful?
20 of 34 found this helpful

Related Drug Reviews

  • Drug Name User Reviews

Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

For more information, visit Diane Newman's website