Menopause and Incontinence
By Cathy Taylor
Menopause can bring uncomfortable symptoms such as incontinence in several different forms. Even younger women experience occasional bouts of urinary leakage during pregnancy, after childbirth, and sometimes even during sex. But menses seems to bring out more occasions of uncontrollable incontinence.
This inability to control your bladder can happen when you put pressure on yourself by wrenching your gut due to laughing or yelling, sneezing and coughing. The condition worsens if your bladder is full. Incontinence can also feel like a strong, uncontrollable urge to pass urine resulting in continuous leakage. Sometimes the sound of running water can trigger this urge.
There is also overflow incontinence. No matter how many times you frequent the restroom and urinate, there are always some urine leaked. This is a result of function of the nerve supply to the bladder being impaired and the consequence is a distended bladder that leak when over filled. Women with this condition do not feel the urge top ass urine. Delaying the need to pass urine can cause this type of incontinence.
If you experience continuous incontinence, there is leakage of urine more or less all of the time without warning. Although this type is uncommon it is caused by abnormalities in the urinary tract which may be congenital or resulting from childbirth, or from surgery such as hysterectomy and medical treatments such as radiation.
Bouts of incontinence can also be due to menopause, specifically hormonal imbalances. Producing less can cause the lining of the bladder to weaken, causing irreparable control of bladder movement. The older we get, the harder it is for us to hold back our urine - bladders get weaker and reaction times become slower.
Depending on the type of incontinence you are experiencing, your doctor may recommend from several types of treatment. Antibiotics are sometimes required to treat infection. Drugs can be taken that control abnormal bladder contractions or to create contraction in an over distended bladder.
Balancing your hormones with either HRT or natural, bioidentical replacement therapy can significantly relieve stress incontinence. And, of course there are the traditional pelvic floor exercises and kegels to strengthen the muscles surrounding the urethra and vagina. In more severe cases, surgery may be required or electrical stimulation of the muscles around the bladder. This is definitely one your need to work out with your doctor.
The information in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice.
About The Author
Cathy Taylor writes frequently on mid-life issues for women and men particularly menopause, and a copy of her book can be found at http://www.howtoconquermenopause.com.