Urinary Incontinence And Menopause

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If you are a woman, you might experience urinary incontinence as you enter menopause. Many women find an increasing level of leakage and incontinence at this time. For some women, urinary incontinence can cause significant problems in their lives. Fortunately, you can find relief from urinary incontinence. Keep reading to learn more about menopausal urinary incontinence and ways to treat it.

What Is Urinary Incontinence?

Urinary incontinence is the inability to control your bladder. Below are four different categories of urinary incontinence.

Stress Incontinence

Stress incontinence is very common in perimenopausal and menopausal women. This condition occurs when you do something that puts pressure on the bladder. Examples include urine leakage when you cough, lift things, or laugh.

Urgency Incontinence

Urgency incontinence is the sudden and overwhelming feeling that you need to urinate. It also includes the need to urinate frequently.

Overflow Incontinence

Overflow incontinence happens when your bladder overfills and leaks.

Functional Incontinence

Functional incontinence is when you can't reach the bathroom in time due to a physical problem that keeps you from moving quickly enough.

Why Is Urinary Incontinence Common In Menopausal Women?

Urinary incontinence is common for most women at some point in their life. A women's biology, combined with a small bladder, makes them more susceptible. However, women going through hormonal changes are especially at risk. Hormone changes, such as the loss of estrogen during menopause, can cause changes in the strength and elasticity of certain tissues.

Women who have had children tend to have a more difficult time with urinary incontinence. Pregnancy has effects on the muscles and nerves in the pelvic area that may continue as they get older.

How Can a Woman Get Relief From Urinary Incontinence?

Many women with minor incontinence can get relief by making lifestyle changes. For example, cutting back on caffeine and artificial sweeteners may help some people. Pelvic floor muscle exercises may also help. If you are overweight, losing weight means less pressure on your bladder. You can also use specially-designed underwear to contain small leakage.

Your doctor may have you try different medications and therapies to calm your bladder and help you retain urine better. Surgery is usually the last result and is often limited to women with severe cases in which other therapies and treatments don't work.

While urinary incontinence may be a common problem during menopause, it doesn't have to limit your life. Treatments and medications can help reduce bladder issues, so you have better control. Lifestyle changes may also help. If you are a menopausal woman and urinary incontinence is bothering you, visit your doctor for advice and possible treatments.