Electrostimulation for Post Partum Incontinence

Is Post Partum Incontinence Common?

Stress Urinary Incontinence, or the involuntary loss of urine due to effort or exertion, is a condition that many people experience in their lifetimes at least once (1). However, it is extremely prevalent in pregnant women, with post partum incontinence showing up in 54.3% of that demographic (2), with 33% of women experiencing it during their first trimester alone (3). During pregnancy and childbirth, the pelvic floor nerves and muscles begin to change, causing dysfunction typically associated with SUI.  

Treatments To Help Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

There are plenty of physical therapies, behavioral modifications, and pharmacological interventions that have been used over the years to help prevent pelvic floor dysfunction in pregnant women and rectify damage done during childbirth. This not only applies to vaginal childbirth, but also to C-Section patients who experience abdominal pain and weakness post-operation. However, some of these interventions lean too heavily on medication reliance and studies done in recent years bring up potential alternative solutions. 

How Electrostimulation Can Help Post Partum Incontinence

Specifically, a study done in October of 2023 found that within a group of 134 postpartum individuals who underwent a C-Section, those who experienced electrostimulation after giving birth were more likely to be discharged without an opioid prescription (4). Specifically, the study found that the use of an electrostimulation device had the potential to be “a helpful adjunct to decrease opioid use without compromising pain control”.  

This, however, is not the only study that touts the positive effects of electrostimulation for pelvic floor recovery. In 2022, a study was done by professionals in Brazil and Italy that looked at electrostimulation as an alternative treatment for the 70% of women affected by pelvic, perineal and nervous lesions from childbirth that did not respond to traditional drug treatment. Through this research, it was determined that non-invasive electrical stimulation was a promising alternative for the clinical improvement of disorders associated with pelvic floor stability. 

Additional Post Partum Benefits of Electrostimulation

In addition, it was noted that this electrostimulation was also useful in the improvement of urination control and sexual quality. Despite the lack of standardization in this new field, studies show that electrostimulation has “great potential in the treatment of pelvic floor and perineal disorders, especially urinary and fecal incontinence, with a positive impact on the quality of life of patients affected by these conditions.” 

On top of these, in  2020 and 2021, studies were done looking into the feasibility and effectiveness of utilizing electrostimulation for muscular restoration, both pelvic and abdominal, after childbirth. For pelvic floor restoration, transvaginal electrical stimulation was found to be a safe and effective choice for increasing the control ability of pelvic muscle contraction and elevating muscle strength even in the short term, with very minimal adverse side effects (5). Then, for women suffering from weakness in their abdominal muscles following birth, findings concluded that electrostimulation should also be put forward as a stand alone treatment modality. This treatment was shown to make a significant difference in regards to pain and instability associated with the muscle weakness (6). 

How ARPwave Can Help You Post Partum

While ARPwave does NOT recommend using our device for any transvaginal electrical stimulation, there are still plenty of opportunities to take advantage of the easy abdominal protocols included in the NeuroTherapy process after childbirth (DO NOT use while pregnant). Additionally, the device can potentially be used for external pelvic floor electrostimulation with the oversight of a physician in addition to any pelvic floor exercises already in use. 

The unique ability of the ARPwave devices to relieve pain and strengthen muscles working towards recovery, make it a great tool to take advantage of while experiencing discomfort and pain after childbirth. If you would like additional information on how ARPwave can help you, give us a call today! 

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