How can I identify if I have pregnancy incontinence?

Weak pelvic floor muscles can lead to pregnancy incontinence, and you may experience one or more of the following:

  • Leaking urine when you cough, sneeze, lift, laugh or exercise
  • Unable to control passing wind
  • An urgent need to empty your bladder or bowel
  • A leaky bowel motion after you’ve been to the toilet
  • Find it hard to pass a bowel motion
  • Feel a lump in your vagina or a sensation of dragging (which could be pelvic organ prolapse where one or more of your pelvic organs sags down into your vagina).

Urine or amniotic fluid?

It may be difficult to tell the difference between stress incontinence and leakage of amniotic fluid (your ’waters’) during your last few weeks of pregnancy,

When your waters break, amniotic fluids leak from your vagina — it may be a gush or just a trickle. Even though you’re probably moving slowly and carefully, amniotic fluid usually leaks out when you stand up after you’ve been sitting or lying down for a while. Amniotic fluid doesn’t usually smell and is usually clear (although it may contain specks of mucus or blood).

Urine, however, tends to leak when you cough, laugh, sneeze or move suddenly, even if you’re lying down. It can be clear, or straw coloured but usually has a distinctive odour.

If you think you’re leaking amniotic fluid, contact your midwife, doctor or labour ward immediately.

How can I manage incontinence?

Poise has a range of discreet and comfortable Liners and Pads that are specifically designed to help you manage light bladder leakage.  To learn more about the products available, and find the right product for you, visit our Poise products page


If your light bladder leakage persists, you may want to talk to your doctor or local continence advisor about the very effective treatments and coping strategies that are readily available.