Q: I had my first baby last year. It was a difficult birth during which my consultant carried out an episiotomy. Since then I have been suffering from urinary incontinence. I spoke to my consultant about it, who carried out a small procedure to rectify the problem. It helped but didn't solve things completely. It is embarrassing for me and it is starting to put a strain on my relationship with my husband. I feel my doctor is responsible for this problem and it isn't going away. What can I do and what are my rights?
A: This is a very difficult and traumatic time for you right now. Incontinence is a problem which can cause a lot of distress and discomfort for new mums. It is not uncommon after childbirth and is usually associated with vaginal deliveries but for most new mums it will disappear pretty soon.
For other women it can take up to several months for the problem to go and sometimes only surgery can rectify it. From your question it would appear you have already been referred for surgery but this has not fully resolved the problem.
It would be advisable at this stage for you to have your condition reviewed by another consultant to see if anything further can be done to improve your quality of life.
Childbirth accounts for a large percentage of medical negligence claims. A 2008 report from the State Claims Agency revealed that 17pc of claims made through them related to childbirth…