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Incontinence and Menopause – Urinary Incontinence in Women

Incontinence and Menopause – Urinary Incontinence in Women
Taikhum Sadiq

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.

5 Top Selling Women Incontinence Products

1. TENA Night Super Maximum Absorbency Pads

Tena Night Super Absorbency Pads offer overnight comfort and security for moderate to heavy leaks. As a two-piece system, these Night Pads offer a more discreet, body-close fit when worn with Tena knit or comfort pants. They are anatomically designed for heavy bladder and bowel incontinence protection. Dry-Fast Dual Core of Tena Super Night Pads ensures long-lasting dryness. It provides great overnight protection for moderate to heavy leaks. Its super absorbent DRY-FAST CORE to lock in liquid overnight

Features of TENA Night Absorbency Pads

  • Contoured core for comfort and protection
  • Wetness indicator to alert caregivers
  • Soft, nonwoven backsheet is gentle and discreet
  • Oval-shaped elastics conform to your body

2. Covidien SureCare Bladder Control Pads

Covidien SureCare Bladder Control Pads provide effective yet discreet protection for light incontinence control. Looks similar to feminine hygiene product with increased incontinence capacity. These pads feature an airlaid insert that acts as the pads backbone, preventing undesirable deformation during use. A blue aperture acquisition layer and super-absorbent polymer for maximum fluid retention while reducing odor and keeping wetness away from skin. It is individually sealed with a durable wrapper that doubles as a disposal device. It contains a high concentration of poly-fresh super absorbent polymer to ensure dryness.

Features of Covidien SureCare Bladder Control Pads

  • Individually wrapped
  • Small pads with an adhesive backing
  • Designed for managing light incontinence
  • Ideal product for women with light bladder leakage

3. TENA Protective Underwear - Extra Absorbency

Tena Protective Underwear is an extended wear underwear with extra absorbency ideal for management of heavy incontinence. It features the patented Body-Close Fit Technology that uses more elastic threads for greater discretion and a sense of security. The InstaDri Skin-Caring System improves surface dryness. Tena Protective Underwear with super absorbent micro beads provides for advanced leakage protection with its premium absorbent core. Soft, cloth-like material feels as comfortable as a regular fabric underwear.

Features of TENA Protective Underwear

  • Soft, cloth-like material
  • Patented Body-Close Fit Technology
  • InstaDri Skin-Caring System
  • Advanced leakage protection
  • Leg cuffs ensure a comfortable, body-close fit
  • Tear away sides for easy, convenient removal

4. Covidien Wings Contoured Insert Pad

Medtronic Covidien Wings Contoured Insert Pad provides moderate to heavy incontinence protection. It contains super-absorbent polymer for maximum fluid retention while reducing odor and keeping wetness away from skin. Contoured shape, padded wing areas and elastic leg gathers of Wings Insert Pad provide effective and convenient protection for ambulatory residents. It has two-part absorbency system that is available in three levels of protection. Wings Contoured Pad is designed to be worn either with Wings seamless knit pants or similar control undergarments.

Features of Covidien Wings Contoured Insert Pad

  • Designed to be worn either with Wings seamless knit pants or similar control undergarments
  • Contains super-absorbent polymer for maximum fluid retention
  • Reduces odor and keeps wetness away from skin

5. TENA Stretch Ultra Brief - Heavy Absorbency

Tena Stretch Briefs with Ultra Absorbency are designed to provide moderate to heavy bladder and bowel protection. The unique combination of stretch sides with full-length hook fasteners provide secure, stay in place fit. This easily customizable fit reduces product gapping and sagging for comfort, security and effective leakage control. Curved leg elastics provide a better fit, enhanced leakage protection and more comfort.The superabsorbent microbeads of Tena Incontinence Briefs help reduce odor and quickly lock away liquids to help promote drier skin with more comfort and discretion. Its blue target absorption zone provides extra protection where needed the most. It has a soft, nonwoven backsheet is gentle against the skin and less noisy, providing improved comfort and greater dignity.

Features Tena Stretch Ultra Brief

  • Fully breathable
  • Stretch sides allow for comfort, accurate sizing and "stay in place" fit
  • Super absorbent technology
  • Blue target absorption zone locks in liquid and odor where more protection is needed
  • Soft, non-woven back sheet is gentle and less noisy
  • Multi-functional design

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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HPFY Taikhum Sadiq

Taikhum Sadiq

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Taikhum Sadiq has been a Health Products For You contributor since 2016.

He is an archaeology student and is passionate about learning about the past and how it impacts our future. He believes ...

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