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Incontinence and Menopause – Urinary Incontinence in Women

Bladder control problems or urinary incontinence are common for women going through their menopause. After your menstrual cycle ends, your body stops making the female hormone estrogen. We know that estrogen controls the menstrual cycle and the changes during pregnancy, but the unknown fact is that it also helps in keeping the lining of the bladder and the urethra healthy. As women age, many factors can weaken the pelvic floor muscles that are responsible for the bladder control resulting in urinary incontinence. This includes some damage that might have occurred during pregnancy, childbirth, or even if you gain weight.

Types of Incontinence during Menopause

Stress incontinence - It is one of the major types of incontinence that affects a women after or just before her menopause. Pressure applied on the pelvic muscles due to coughing, sneezing, or lifting can push urine through the weakened muscles. This kind of leakage is called stress incontinence. It is one of the most common kinds of bladder control problems in older women.

Urge incontinence - It usually occurs when a women is going through her menopause. It is also a very common bladder control problem. With this condition, the bladder muscles squeeze at the wrong time or all the time, and this causes leaks.

Nocturia - This problem is the frequent urination women experience during the night.

Overflow Incontinence - Underactivity of the bladder muscles causes this problem. When the bladder is not emptied fully, there are chances of dribbling all throughout the day.

Risk Factors Involved

There are a number of things a woman should consider doing or avoiding while going through the menopause phase. All these can help reduce the chances of one suffering from incontinence or reduces the effects of the same.

Caffeine or Alcohol Intake - Higher levels of these translates to more trips to the bathroom and increased chances of incontinence

Infections - Infections in the urinary tract or bladder can convulge to lead to different forms of incontinence

Nerve Damage - It can interrupt the signals to the bladder and the controlling of the muscles thus resulting in involuntary discharge of urine

Medications - Different types of medications react differently to each person and so there are chances that a specific kind of medication can have a side effect that can result in intcontinence

Constipation - Chronic constipation is a problem and can weaken the muscles of the bladder leading to incontinence

Weight Issues - Excess weight can put pressure on the UI and thus can result in a weak bladder strength altogether.

How Can One Treat This

There are various invasive and non-invasive techniques that can help redcue the effects of incontinence and bring it under control.

Exercises - Incontinence problems can often be improved by doing exercises regularly that strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. These exercises are also called Kegel exercises. Contract the pelvic muscles as if trying to close the vaginal opening and then hold the contraction for a count of three and then relax. Wait a few seconds and repeat again. Fast Kegels (squeezing and relaxing muscles as quickly as possible) are also very helpful. Perform several Kegels per day (try for 50) and it can improve your bladder control.

Medications - Several medications such as anticholinergics are prescribed to calm the bladder and reduce the chances of it overacting and causing incontinence.

Nerve Stimulation - Using electric stimulation the muscles of the bladder can be treated and made stronger than what they were. It is difficult to return to the original strength of the muscles through this medium but it helps reduce the effects of incontinence.

Surgery - One of the rarest forms of treating incontinence, surgery is only used as a medium to treat incontinence if the patient doesn’t respond to any other method of treatment. The bladder is placed in a better position via surgery to reduce incontinence.

Top-Selling Women Incontinence Products

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Menopause is an avoidable stage of a woman’s life, but incontinence is avoidable if one takes care of their body properly. Consulting the right specialists and eating the right kind of food can go a long way in reducing the chances as well as effects of incontinence on women going through their menopause.

 

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