Should I get help for post-menopausal bladder control issues?
Did you know: a recent study found that nearly 70% of women over 40 experience some loss of bladder control? Though bladder control issues can strike at any time during your life, the dramatic dip in estrogen levels that occurs during menopause can wreak havoc on your pelvic floor. Estrogen helps to govern blood flow to these essential muscles; when hormone levels decrease, the lining of the vagina and urethra gradually lose moisture and elasticity—reducing their ability to control the flow of urine.rnrn rnrnThis can lead to poor bladder control and, unfortunately, leakage. You might experience stress incontinence, which is leakage caused by laughing or sneezing—or nocturia, which is frequent nighttime urination. If you’re experiencing any loss of bladder control related to menopause, talk to your doctor. If your issues are just a minor inconvenience, you may be able to strengthen your pelvic floor with Kegel exercises. You may also be able to “re-educate” your bladder with bladder training, increasing its capacity and dramatically reducing the likelihood of leakage.rnrn rnrnWhile you and your doctor are devising a strategy to address your post-menopausal bladder control issues, it’s important to stay active—even if you’re worried about leaks. Your pelvic floor muscles will continue to atrophy as you age, so a regular exercise regimen, in addition to any bladder training program you may undertake, will be critical in maintaining a strong, healthy body. In the meantime, make sure to keep yourself dry and comfortable with incontinence protection such as bladder control pads or disposable underwear. Not sure which incontinence pads or garments are right for you? Take our interactive quiz now to find your perfect fit.