This form of incontinence occurs when the sphincter muscle responsible for the flow of urine through the urethra becomes damaged or weakened making every little pressure on the bladder a potential embarrassing involuntary flow of urine.
Simple things like laughing, coughing, sneezing or straining to lift an object can place unusual pressure on the abdomen which results on pressure on the bladder.
If the sphincter is not healthy it will be unable to hold back the urine that the compressed bladder is trying to release.
The intensity of this problem can range from light to heavy flows.
So what does this have to do with pregnancy and childbirth? Well if you've been through a difficult pregnancy you probably already have a good idea of the amount of trauma that your lower abdomen can go through.
But even normal deliveries can stretch the pelvic floor muscles or otherwise weaken them and that's the set up for a lack of bladder control.
Births that are prolonged, require forceps or other tools or an episiotomy are more likely to tear or weaken the muscle group and the risk of developing a continence problem are much higher.
The pelvic floor muscles are key because they support and hold in place all of the organs located in the abdomen.
If this muscle group can not do its job then the organs can move creating pressures on other organs including the bladder.
In many instances, these muscles can be strengthened through isometric Kegel exercises and their performance can return to normal eliminating a major cause of incontinence.
However your first stop should be to your doctor's office to determine just what the underlying causes truly are.
Stress incontinence is typically easy to cure and even failing that, it's easy to manage.
Jst remember that this condition is not a natural side effect of giving birth or growing older.
You can attack this continence issue and you do not have to live with the condition for the rest of your life.