One in three women going through menopause suffers from stress urinary incontinence related to childbirth.
Pregnancy and childbirth cause hormonal changes and excessive stretching of the muscles in the perineum (the area between the anus and the vulva) and pelvic floor, thus reducing their ability to function properly.
The damage to these areas means symptoms can continue even after child-birth. Women are more prone to this problem if they have given birth several times, are obese, or do manual work such as carrying heavy items.
Kegel exercises, which involve a series of squeezing and relaxing actions in the pelvic floor area, can improve the condition by up to 70 per cent. Women should drink a maximum of eight glasses a day and avoid beverages such as coffee, tea and alcohol, which irritate the bladder.
The following is a video guide to Kegel exercises. Credit to http://www.pelvicexercises.com.au/