One of the signs and symptoms of menopause is having bladder control issues or urinary incontinence. When you stop having periods each month, your body does not make as much estrogen. Estrogen is responsible for many functions of the body one of which researchers say is to keep the lining of your bladder and urethra plump and healthy. They also think that the diminished levels of estrogen could contribute to a weakness in the pelvic floor muscles which enable you to control you bladder. But, you can deal effectively with menopause and bladder problems without taking hormones or medications or even invasive measures like surgery.
So, you may notice that when you cough, lift objects, or sneeze, these activities allow urine to leak through. This type of leaking urine is called stress incontinence and can happen to you at any age. Even though estrogen may play a part in stress incontinence there have not been any studies that show that taking estrogen improves bladder control in older women.
So, where does that leave you? Certainly, you should check with you healthcare professional to rule out any other causes than weak pelvic floor muscles like infections, various medications, difficulty moving, nerve damage, etc. Trying a behavioral approach, which uses devices to
Another type of incontinence in older women is called urge incontinence. With this problem the muscles of your bladder can squeeze when you aren’t ready to urinate causing leakage at unsuspecting times. This can seriously impact your activities and enjoyment in life. Once you have determined the nature of your incontinence problem you can start with simple kegel exercises which strengthen the pelvic floor muscles responsible for controlling your bladder. These are not hard to do but you may need some help in making sure you are doing them correctly. The best part is that these exercises do work without any side affects or invasive treatment.If you want your menopause symptoms treatments holistic, there are products you can use at home to help you learn which muscles to exercise and give you feedback that you are indeed getting stronger. They are inexpensive and there are several to choose from. Using vaginal weights for strengthening your pelvic floor muscles is a good place to start. If you find you need more intensive help you can use a resisitance exerciser like the PFX2.