Urinary Incontinence in Menopause: Cause and Treatment
Urinary Incontinence in Menopause: Cause and Treatment. What to do about urinary incontinence? This question is either not asked at all or if it is, it is asked very quietly. It is a taboo subject. But why? It is time that this problem becomes less taboo and more women speak out on the subject of urinary incontinence and disclose their experiences.
In this weeks blog post we’ll talk about the “Urinary Incontinence in Menopause: Cause and Treatment”, give insights, talk about the different types, show treatment options and try to make you feel more confident.
There are different types of urinary incontinence. There is no need to be afraid, because there is a lot you can do to regain control of your bladder.
Dear women, does the following situation sound familiar? You are going through menopause. You are sitting there minding your own business, being busy. Suddenly, you feel your bladder contracting. Just a little bit. Almost as if it is about to empty, but not completely.
This comes suddenly and without warning. Often you’re lucky and nothing more than a small contraction has happened, but it still begs the question of whether this is an early sign or if it could have been much worse.
Doctors and physiotherapists can help you to train your pelvic floor in the best possible way to overcome this problem.
What you should do first
Sometimes there is no discharge during contractions, but there are signs. It may also be that only a few drops leak. However, you may also suddenly feel the urge to go to the bathroom and not make it there in time. This depends on how weak your pelvic floor muscles have become.
Have you talked to women your age and heard that this happens to women your age? The thought that you may have lost control of your bladder is pretty scary. Even worse is the thought that you may need to use incontinence aids such as pads or adult underwear.
First of all, you are not alone. Bladder weakness or urinary incontinence is common during menopause. It’s much more common than you might think. Still, you don’t want to be one of the people affected yourself. That’s understandable.
Read on to learn things you can do to increase the chance of solving, alleviating or at least improving the problem.
3 Types of bladder problems or urinary incontinence
The more common and possibly the lighter variety. Sneezing, coughing or laughing puts stress on the bladder. Anything that puts pressure on a bladder with a weak pelvic floor can cause the bladder to leak. Usually, this involves a few drops of urine. However, complete loss of control can also occur.
This is a sudden urge to urinate where the bladder contracts and you may not make it to the toilet in time. To avoid unpleasant situations, it is advisable to always know where the nearest toilet is.
Nighttime incontinence. You may wake up several times during the night and need to pee.
What is the pelvic floor?
The pelvic floor is the lower part of the muscle group that extends from the tailbone to the pubic bone and supports the bladder, bowel and uterus. These muscles must contract to stop the flow of urine and, along with other muscles, support the spine.
Why does your bladder weaken during menopause?
As you enter menopause, your estrogen levels drop. This is an important factor in many of the symptoms of menopause that you may experience. Estrogen is the hormone that keeps your bladder healthy and happy and your pelvic muscles strong.
With menopause comes the usual problems you may experience:
- Night sweats
- Hot flashes
- Weight gain
In addition, your vaginal tissues become less elastic, and your pelvic floor muscles, which hold everything together, weaken.
Other factors that can affect the strength of your pelvic floor include
Significant weight gain
Your pelvic floor muscles support much of your weight. Extra weight can put additional strain on these muscles, causing them to become weak.
Diabetes can significantly increase your risk of urinary incontinence because the nerve damage that can occur with diabetes can also affect the nerves to your bladder and bowels.
Straining to use the toilet can cause the muscles in that area to become weak.
Repair of damaged muscles or a hysterectomy can cause problems with bladder control. This may possibly be due to nerve damage.
Steroids and diuretics can have a negative effect on bladder control.
Caffeine or alcohol
The worst of all is drinking too much caffeine or alcohol
See the gynecologist
Your gynecologist is your first contact to find out what is causing your loss of bladder control.
First, a diagnosis must be made, and this involves taking a detailed history and performing a physical exam. Second, a cough test may also be performed.
Unfortunately, there are few women who have their incontinence diagnosed by a doctor. However, it is advisable in order to have certainty and be able to act against it accordingly.
They may not think the incontinence is serious enough to see a doctor, or they may be embarrassed to talk about it. In addition, many women believe that incontinence is just a consequence of having children and they have to put up with it.
If you are struggling with bladder problems, it is important to talk to a professional, no matter how insignificant you think it is. As with all other problems, the same is true here: The sooner you catch it, the better chance you have of fixing it.
In fact, there are many treatment options.
Prevention and treatment of menopausal urinary incontinence
Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and carbonated drinks
As they can worsen symptoms and cause increased frequency
Include plenty of fiber in your diet
Constipation can make bladder leakage worse. Good sources of fiber include nuts, seeds (especially chia and flaxseed) and vegetables. Avoid empty carbohydrates, such as anything with fat and sugar. These contain very little fiber and only contribute to your digestion and do not improve constipation.
Regular physical activity
Keep your muscles active and functioning by getting them moving regularly.
Restrict fluid intake
Women in particular are encouraged to drink large amounts of water. However, it is important to stick to the recommended 6-8 cups of fluid per day. Try not to drink more than 2 liters of fluid a day to avoid overloading your bladder, and before dinner to avoid having to get up too often during the night.
If you are overweight, even a small amount of weight loss can significantly reduce the strain on your pelvic floor.
Pee more often
For some women, it takes forever to go to the bathroom. If you struggle with bladder voiding dysfunction, prolonged hesitation to go to the bathroom can increase your risk of having an accident. Resolve to go to the bathroom a little more often.
If you’re coughing, whatever the reason, I would encourage you to find a solution, especially if you’re already suffering from stress incontinence. If that means quitting smoking, getting your asthma treated, or taking medication for a virus, it’s worth the pain and embarrassment of peeing a little or more every time you cough.
Avoid heavy lifting
This can weaken your pelvic floor; be especially careful when lifting children or weights. . Learn to “brace” your pelvic floor muscles before lifting.
They are not a treatment, but can provide some relief for women with stress incontinence until leakage symptoms improve or are resolved by treatment.
Note: Menstrual pads are not as absorbent or protective of the skin as incontinence pads. Using menstrual pads can cause skin irritation.
While you try some of these home remedies for self-help, you can explore options for other non-surgical, natural treatments.
REMEDIC Gel Seat Cushion with Incontinence Pad
Remedic’s Incontinence Cushion makes it easier for you to deal with incontinence. The gel seat cushion offers a great solution for people who need incontinence protection. Its design provides perfect pressure distribution for comfortable sitting and is especially good for people who have to sit for long periods of time. This also makes it one of the best gel seat cushions for wheelchairs.
It has a gel insert with fluid protection barriers and an incontinence pad inner layer. The outer cover is made of Oeko-Tex 100 certified fabric. The underside has a non-slip design to ensure the pillow stays in place.
The large zipper allows the TPR gel insert to be easily removed from the outer fabric layer for cleaning and replaced. Both the inner layer and the fabric cover are machine washable.
This seat cushion is discreet, unobtrusive and can give people with incontinence problems more confidence.
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Treatment of urge incontinence
Your doctor may prescribe medications to help calm an overactive bladder.
Treatment for stress incontinence
High on the list of natural treatments:
Pelvic floor exercises
Commonly known as “Kegels.” Exercising the right muscles by repeatedly contracting them several times a day can strengthen your pelvic floor, but depends on doing the exercises consistently.
In addition, it is important that you know which muscles to isolate when doing these exercises. If you strengthen the wrong muscles, it can make things worse for you.
A physical therapist with experience in this area can help you isolate the right muscles and monitor that the exercises are working.
Depending on where you are having problems, different surgeries can be performed. Furthermore, they are usually minor procedures, but as with any surgical procedure, there are risks that your surgeon will tell you about.
Vaginal insert (pessary)
These removable vaginal inserts, designed to support the urethra, can be inserted by yourself or a doctor and help prevent stress incontinence.
Urinary incontinence during menopause significantly affects both quality of life and physical health. In addition, women with incontinence often shy away from social and physical activities, which can lead to social isolation, depression and lack of exercise.
It is important that this often taboo subject is not swept under the rug and that it is talked about. Those women who can talk about it should encourage and support those who cannot.
If you have any problems in this area, no matter how significant you think they are, it is recommended that you see a doctor. If you are embarrassed, there may be a person who is willing to support you, or you can look for a doctor with whom you feel comfortable.
To make life easier and more independent for you and your loved one, Remedic offers many products for everyday life. Visit our website at https://remedic.co/products/
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