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How Menopause and Urinary Incontinence are Related

Menopause can often create new experiences to you with some of them difficult to deal with, for example; there may be weight gain, hot sweats, mood swings and much more.

Menopause and Incontinence

One difficulty you may experience with the menopause is an overactive or sensitive bladder. If you do experience this, be assured that you are not alone as urinary incontinence is quite a common issue for menopausal women.

Regardless of how common this issue is, an overactive bladder can be embarrassing and hard to live with, your personal life can be affected as well as your exercise routine and your social life may become affected. To overcome these issues, you need to find the right incontinence solutions and products to suit you.

Never Lose Hope

It is important to know that urinary incontinence can be treated, sometimes cured or at the least properly managed. What you should not do is ignore the problem and hope that it goes away. This will rarely go away on its own and will often become worse over time.

It is better to educate yourself about why you are experiencing incontinence and how it is connected to menopause. It is important to know what the symptoms of this are, the reasons for it and what you can do to treat this.

The Symptoms of Menopausal Incontinence

There are a number of common signs of a menopausal sensitive bladder and you need to know what they are. The first sign is that you leak urine when you exercise, cough or sneeze. Another sign is when you leak urine on your way to the bathroom. Waking up more than twice during the night to urinate and frequent urinary tract infections will also be signs of this problem.

The Common Causes of a Menopausal Sensitive Bladder

There are a few reasons why you might be having urinary incontinence during menopause. It is important to know what some of the most common reasons will be.

Weak pelvic floor muscles are the first cause that you should know about. Your pelvic floor muscles will naturally weaken during menopause. However, when this happens you will have less bladder control, and this will cause more frequent urination in menopausal women.

A prolapse during menopause will be when organs start to sag against the pelvic floor. There are some women who describe feeling a lump in the vagina where the organ is sagging against the pelvic floor. The organ that is sagging could be the bladder, the uterus or the bowel. Prolapse will cause strain on the pelvic floor.

Another cause will be a reduction in bladder elasticity. The elasticity at the base of the bladder could slacken and this will cause problems as it cannot stretch correctly to accommodate the liquid that fills it. This will result in your bladder being irritated as it fills which will cause the sensation of an overactive bladder. This will make you feel like going to the bathroom more than you need.

When menopause starts, estrogen will no longer be produced by the body. When this happens, your body will become more susceptible to incontinence as estrogen helps to keep the tissues around the bladder strong. The lack of estrogen can cause the bladder to stop working in the way that it was.

There are many women who suffer from weight gain during menopause. This will affect your pelvic floor muscles as they support much of your body weight. When these muscles are strained by excess weight, they will not be able to support your bladder correctly which leads to stress incontinence.

How to Manage Urinary Incontinence

The first step you should take in managing your urinary incontinence is to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles with contraction exercises. You should also try and stay as close to your normal healthy weight as possible. To protect against urinary tract infections, you will need to keep up with personal hygiene, be careful when you wipe and ensure that you drink fluids (preferable water) on a regular basis.

These management methods will work, but the overall effectiveness will depend on the cause of your incontinence. This is why you need to talk to your doctor when you see the first signs of urinary incontinence. They will be able to diagnose the cause and offer additional treatment options if you need them. You could ask your doctor about training or surgery that could treat a prolapse or find out if there are any other underlying causes for your overactive bladder.

Incontinence products such as disposable pads, pants and nappies are readily available, you can even purchase washable pants and knickers that look and feel just like normal underwear but have a built-in absorbent pad to help manage light leakage.

Regardless of the route, you take to treat this, you need to keep in mind that many women have bladder control issues at this stage of their life. Having a sensitive bladder does not have to take over your your day-today activities and get in the way of living a fulfilling life.

Related Article: We Need to Talk About Incontinence

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