So, I learned something new today. I like to think I've studied and figured out all the risks of epidurals and such, but here's a new one. I mentioned to my sister loriloo some incontinence issues it seems like all my pregnant friends have, and she mentioned that having had an epidural increases the odds of such problems substantially. So I loooked it up (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8233276) and found this study:
In theory, it has to do not with the epidural itself but with the catheter being in there during pushing. I hadn't even thought of that. Makes sense though. Obviously there are still some good reasons to get an epidural for a lot of women- just one set of risks I didn't even know about.OBJECTIVE: To test the hypothesis that epidural anesthesia during labor prevents the development of stress incontinence after vaginal birth. METHODS: We interviewed 208 primiparas about stress incontinence 3 months postpartum. The women who developed stress incontinence after delivery were interviewed again 1 year postpartum. RESULTS: Twelve of 45 women (27%) who had epidural anesthesia developed stress incontinence de novo after vaginal delivery, versus 21 of 163 (13%) who did not receive epidural anesthesia, a marginally significant difference (P = .05). Those who had epidural anesthesia also had a significantly longer first stage of labor. One year after delivery, three of 42 (7%) in the epidural anesthesia group had stress incontinence, compared with five of 163 (3%) in the control group. CONCLUSION: Our results do not support the hypothesis that epidural anesthesia protects against the development of stress incontinence after vaginal delivery.
Very interesting. I never thought of anything like that. TFS!
~Joy~ DS1-8/5/05, DS2-10/18/10 (VBAC#1), DS3- 4/11/12 (VBAC#2!)
You know it's funny... The whole thing happens so fast that I don't even remember if my catheter was still in during pushing. I think mine was taken out also, because then after the delivery, while I was still numb, they had to do a straight cath to empty my bladder. Either way, I don't have any problems with incontinence, thankfully!
Sean Thomas - 6/30/09 @ 7:17pm 8lb 8oz, 19", 40w5d
Calvin Michael - 2/28/11 @ 7:39pm 6lb 8oz, 18", 37w5d
Nolan Matthew - 5/1/13 @ 11:54pm 6lb 4oz, 19", 38w4d
May 26, 2010 - 7w1d
Not surprising....though I think the cause is probably due to the fact that you're more likely to have some perineal trauma and swelling after giving birth with an epidural (more episiotomies, more vacuum, more forceps deliveries, more 2+ degree lacerations). Though I didn't have an epidural, I had a lot of perineal trauma and swelling after Jesse's birth. And I had some major incontinence issues immediately after the birth (I needed to go to the bathroom every couple of hours or I would just go anyways), and had some stress incontinence for a few months after (though I was pretty well back to normal by one year).
Yikes!! I didn't have an epidural but I definitely had incontinence issues for a while right after the birth. I'm still not 100% but it's a lot better now that the swelling's gone down and everything's healing up down there (I had one 1st degree tear and a couple of minor abrasions). Just that little bit has been so annoying.
I never had a catheter with my epidural. In fact, the nurses made me empty my bladder before the epi so they wouldn't have to use one.
As far as peeing the pants....I didn't have that until my last pregnancy and I am still having pee leaks now. I've been wondering why since I didn't have it before.
Sorry, kinda a tangent there.
I had an epi and catheter with both births and had no problems afterward. Of course I didn't labor with the cath either time either...