After My Daughter Olivia Was Born, I Began To Experience Accidental Bowel Leakage (ABL)
Don't let ABL negatively impact life after child-birth.
Having a child was one of the best things my husband and I ever did. I do not regret getting pregnant, nor bring Olivia into the world, but after having her, I began to experience accidental bowel leakage. While I was prepared for some of the unpleasant things that can result from childbirth, such as weight gain and stretch marks, I had no idea I was going to have to deal with ABL. It is so frustrating and embarrassing, and sometimes I can’t help but wish I had known the risks before getting pregnant.
I know that any problem or side-effect is worth it to have this beautiful little girl, but ABL has negatively impacted my social and work life, my confidence, and has even changed my personality. I am turning into a recluse. What can I do?
ABL is the accidental leakage of stool or gas. Over 2% of the population has ABL, and yet that does not make it any less embarrassing. The soiled underwear, the fear that a fart will be a shart, and the odor and discomfort are all part of ABL.
1 in 5 women over age 40 experience ABL. Pregnancy can lead to ABL because the sphincter muscles can be stretched and damaged during pregnancy and labor, or the nerves may be damaged. This can mean the sphincter no longer adequately controls the anus, keeping it closed. This can lead to stool leakage and/or the inability to control gas. For some the symptoms are minor, while for others they are more severe.
Are women who have ABL after pregnancy without hope? Is the damage irreversible? Is having ABL the price for having a baby like Olivia?
Fortunately, even when the sphincter muscles are injured or damaged during childbirth, if the problem is recognized and repaired, there is a good chance of proper healing and a full recovery. However, it can take time for proper healing to take place.
So how can you get tested, treated, and manage symptoms in the meantime?
The first step is to talk to a doctor. The doctor will ask questions to evaluate things like your bowel habits, other medical problems that could contribute to your incontinence, and the severity of the symptoms you have. The doctor will examine the sphincter muscles, rectum, and lower colon, and may order some tests for the pelvic floor and nerve function. X-rays may be needed to determine the area of injury and to check for rectal prolapse.
Your doctor will then offer a treatment plan which may include things like a diet change, pelvic muscles exercises (Kegels), and possible medications or medical treatment.
To manage your light ABL while waiting for treatment to work and correct the problem, consider Butterfly pads.
The Buttefly pad is a new kind of discreet protection for ABL. It fits comfortably and invisibly in the buttocks, providing secure protection without the discomfort, bulk, and embarrassment of traditional fecal incontinence products. It has an absorbent core, odor protection, and stay fast wings to give protection you can count on.
Learn more about ABL, and visit here to see this innovative new product and order a sample to see if the Butterfly could be your solution for peace of mind, confidence, and protection while treating your ABL.