Pregnancy: Hushed Experiences

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Pregnancy: Hushed experiences. Nausea, exhaustion, sensitive breasts, funky moods.  Symptoms that are widely talked about in the pregnancy circles.  But what about the symptoms that seem to only happen to us because, well no one is publicly talking about them.  Let’s shed some light on one in particular……fecal incontinence. Woah, wait what? I am sharing my own experience and a couple studies that can help add some normalcy to these hushed experiences.

Pregnancy: Hushed experiences?

In a Facebook Live, I shared two incidents that I had in two different pregnancies. You can watch here as I share the details. Warning: For whatever reason, one of my early pregnancy symptoms have been fecal incontinence. But of course, why would I shout this symptom out to the world? Erika, you gotta keep that hushed! But you know what……I’m taking a step forward to break the stigma!  I know I am not the only one that experienced feel incontinence, there have been studies confirming this!

Fecal Incontinence Studies

Both studies used the Wexner scores to determine severity.  Here is the test to find out your score.

Prevalence of Fecal Incontinence in Women During PregnancyA Large Cross-Sectional Study

Those in the 1st and 3rd trimester – 228 pregnant people were part of the study, 93 (40.8%) had some episode of fecal incontinence.

Prevalence and Risk Indicators for Anal Incontinence among Pregnant Women

In this study, 8.4% of 2846 women experienced some kind anal incontinence.

My Instagram Poll

Out of 32 peeps that answered the poll, 6 said YES!!!  19% folks.  High five in solidarity.

More Poop Talk

Understandably, life is significantly affected with any kind of incontinence but fecal seems to top the cake if we were to rate from 0-10 as it affects our lives.

  • Fecal incontinence is most frequent among persons with history of obstetric anal sphincter injury. Potential contributors to fecal incontinence are damage to pelvic floor muscles and nerves and from surgical vaginal deliveries *Source
  • More common during postpartum than in pregnancy
  • Treatment *Source
    • Medication
    • Bowel training
    • Surgery
    • kegal exercised and bio feedback
    • diet changes
  • Aids to help
    • Liners
    • Protective underwear
    • Underpads
    • keep an extra set of pants and underwear in the car just in case
    • keep some pre-moistened wipes on hand

What would happen if we were less afraid to share what happens to us in any phase of our lives. I believe society would become more empathic and less judgemental. May sharing this blog and my experience give you the courage to share with others the topics that have been hushed for way too long!

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