“It’s an age thing!”

If you’ve passed the age of 50 years, you’ll probably wonder if the early signs of incontinence are the onset of menopause. While this fact is true up to some extent, many younger men and women also tend to experience difficulty in holding their urine. The fact is that incontinence can result from various other causes other than menopause. And, most important? Technology now has different solutions that can help. 

Why Incontinence After Menopause Happens

The estrogen hormone plays several important roles in keeping your body functioning as it should. Along with progesterone, estrogen is responsible for puberty, menstruation, pregnancies, and deliveries.

As long as you have adequate levels of the hormone, your pelvic muscles remain strong and elastic and are able to support your bladder. With waning hormones, not only do your vaginal tissues start to thin, but the lining of the tube or urethra that expels urine also begins to weaken. For this reason, you start to find it hard to control your urine. 

Incontinence After Menopause Has Various Symptoms

Take a look at these symptoms. Have you lately been noticing these signs more often?

  • The urge to urinate is sudden and you feel like you need to go right away. You may also feel like you may not reach the bathroom quick enough.
  • You need to wake up several times during the night to pee.
  • Each time you sneeze, cough, or laugh loudly, you involuntarily expel a few drops of urine.
  • You notice leaking every time you need to lift something heavy or do any activity that puts pressure on your bladder. These activities can include playing sports or running.
  • You sense a burning sensation because of Urinary Tract Infections (UTI). Menopause raises your risks of getting such infections.
  • Not only do you need to pee urgently, but you also sense that the output is much higher than normal. This happens when there is an excess of fluid buildup in the bladder. Weakened nerves and muscles may not signal that you need to use the restroom often enough.
  • You sense sudden pressure on your bladder. But, when you visit the bathroom, the flow is not quite what you expected. This happens when the bladder is not able to empty out completely. You may also need to exert pressure to relieve the bladder entirely.

Why Menopause May Aggravate the Incontinence

Although having incontinence after menopause is a normal occurrence, you may have more difficulty because of certain conditions that make the symptoms worse. When you visit the doctor, he may ask questions about your lifestyle and medical history. Accordingly, you’ll receive recommendations of treatments that can help you lead a normal life. Some of the related causes of incontinence may include:

  • Single or multiple vaginal births
  • Nerve damage because of diseases or injuries
  • Surgical procedures in the pelvic region
  • Obesity where the excess weight puts pressure on the bladder
  • Prescriptions of drugs for hypertension or anxiety and depression
  • Diuretics
  • Genetics 

Incontinence after menopause is more common than you think. But, it is possible to regain your self-confidence and have a better quality of life. In addition to medications and exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor, you can now opt for non-invasive measures that can ease some of the symptoms. Talk to your doctor today.

If you are experiencing chronic pelvic pain, be sure to contact our office for assistance. Dr. McWhorter and his team are specialists in assisting women with pelvic pain and sexual dysfunction issues. Book a confidential consultation to see how we can help you.

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