Menopause and Bladder Control

Oh No!  I’m going to sneeze.

At that first intake of breath – before the achoo is released – do you cross your legs and tightly clamp all the muscles in your pelvic area?

Me too!!!! And millions of menopausal women around the world also. You are not alone.

“But why?” you cry.

Some will tell you it is because you birthed babies, and the pelvic muscles were stretched and weakened during childbirth. This is true to some extent, but why do women who have never had children experience the same anguish?

Because bladder problems are just yet another commonality with the menopause cycle.

Your estrogen levels are diminished drastically, and estrogen is a hormone that gives good health to your bladder and urethra. Not only is it harder to hold your pee in your bladder, but the bladder wants to release the pee more frequently. Likely you will find yourself getting up to the bathroom once or twice during the night.

That uncontrollable urge to pee, not only happens when sneezing, but also coughing, laughing, and exercising. Just try jumping on a trampoline or laughing out loud.

Blame it all on gravity (and lack of estrogen). Yep! Your boobs droop, as does your bum and your face muscles. So too do the sphincter muscles. They are no longer strong enough to pinch the urethra shut.

 

 

SOLUTIONS:

  • Performing pelvic floor exercises can help with incontinence issues by strengthening the bladder muscles. Try the Kegel
  • Having demonstrated that symptoms improve, vaginal oestrogen could be considered.
  • Panty liners with good absorption.
  • Avoid strenuous exercise. Keep to walking.
  • When urinating, stop mid flow and hold (clench those muscles), start again, stop again, then finish. This is good retraining for the pelvic muscles.
  • Avoid lifting heavy objects.
  • Limit consumption of acidic and citrus foods, and caffeine, which can irritate the bladder.
  • Remain well hydrated.
  • Communicate your anxiety with friends and family. A problem shared is a problem halved.
  • Go to the toilet before running the tap.

If symptoms worsen consult with your GP our Naturopath for further guidance.

 

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