Menopause and Urinary Incontinence: What's the Connection? (pegged to National Bladder Health Awaren

Menopause and Urinary Incontinence: What's the Connection? (pegged to National Bladder Health Awaren

Women expect night sweats, hot flashes, and emotional fluctuations once they reach menopause, but urinary incontinence can sometimes catch them by surprise. Learn the connection between menopause and urinary incontinence this November during National Bladder Health Awareness Month, and find out how the practitioners at Daniel Esteves, MD, can help you with this uncomfortable issue.

The connection between urinary incontinence and menopause

Losing control of your bladder when you make a movement that causes abdominal pressure, such as a sneeze, cough, or laugh, is known as stress urinary incontinence (SUI), and it’s the most common form of incontinence that women experience after menopause. SUI happens when pelvic floor muscles weaken and atrophy, making it harder to hold.

 Menopause presents a wide range of changes to women’s reproductive, sexual, and overall physical health due to fluctuations in hormone levels. Estrogen begins to decline during the transition into menopause, called perimenopause. The urethra, the tube through which urine passes, becomes thin. The pressure of urine makes it hard to control with thinning urethral walls. 

Pelvic floor muscles become weak due to the decline in estrogen. These muscles hold your bladder in place, and as they weaken, urine can leak because of abdominal pressure, such as bending, sneezing, or laughing. 

Should I see a doctor about my bladder leaks?

While many women experience urinary incontinence during and after menopause, no one should struggle with this uncomfortable and embarrassing issue. If you’re having urine leaks or difficulty controlling your bladder, it’s time to visit Dr. Esteves.

 

Your treatment with our urinary incontinence specialists includes a physical exam to evaluate your pelvic floor and urinalysis to rule out a urinary tract infection (UTI) and other issues. 

With urinary incontinence, you should seek help sooner rather than later. When caught early, bladder leaks are manageable with simple changes to your lifestyle, such as following a bathroom break schedule or reducing your caffeine intake.

Other treatments for urinary incontinence

For hard-to-manage urinary incontinence, your treatment may also include:

Pelvic floor exercises

Kegel exercises and other pelvic floor-focused workouts strengthen these muscles, leading to increased bladder support and fewer urine leaks in the future.

Medications

For overactive bladder or urge incontinence, certain medications that calm the muscles of the bladder can help.

Surgery

If your urinary incontinence is due to a damaged or weak pelvic floor, minimally invasive surgery may be necessary to repair the problem. Dr. Esteves may surgically place a medical device to support the bladder for more frequent or severe urine leaks.

Dr. Esteves and his team are here to discuss your therapeutic or surgical options, helping you become more informed about your gynecological health. Call or click online today to reach our Lawrenceville, Georgia, office for a consultation.

 

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