Menopause is a big time of change in every woman’s life. One thing you may notice is more difficulty with bladder control. Urinary incontinence is a common issue for menopausal women. It can be embarrassing and interfere with work, your social life and your sexual relationship.
What’s most important to know is that urinary incontinence can be cured, treated or at least better managed. What you don’t want to do is ignore the problem, as it rarely goes away on its own and may even get worse over time. Instead, educate yourself about why you may be experiencing urinary incontinence. Here are the symptoms, some reasons it happens and what you can do about urinary incontinence.
Symptoms of menopausal incontinence
Are you experiencing these common signs of a menopausal sensitive bladder?
- Leaking urine when you cough, sneeze or exercise
- Leaking urine on the way to the restroom
- Waking up more than twice at night to urinate
- Frequent urinary tract infections
Common causes of a menopausal sensitive bladder
Here are some of the reasons why you may be experiencing urinary incontinence during menopause.
Weak pelvic floor muscles. During menopause, your pelvic floor muscles tend to weaken naturally. Weaker muscles can mean less bladder control and a more frequent urge to visit the bathroom.
Prolapse. A prolapse is a sagging down of organs against the pelvic floor. Some women who have prolapse describe a feeling of a lump in the vagina where an organ is sagging down. That organ may be the uterus, bladder or bowel. Prolapse strains your pelvic floor.
Less bladder elasticity. The base of your bladder can lose elasticity and have trouble stretching to accommodate your bladder as it fills. As a result, your bladder is irritated as it fills, causing an “overactive bladder” sensation that makes you feel like you have to go more frequently.
Estrogen depletion. With the onset of menopause, estrogen is no longer produced by your body. When this happens, your body is more susceptible to incontinence because your estrogen that helped keep the tissues around your bladder strong and working well is no longer present.
Weight gain. Many menopausal women tend to gain weight as a result of the changes happening in their bodies. Since your pelvic floor muscles support much of your body weight, any excess weight further strains these muscles, so they cannot support your bladder as they should. This is called stress incontinence.
Managing your Urinary Incontinence
A great first step is strengthening your pelvic floor muscles with pelvic muscle contraction exercises. Try your best to stay around your normal healthy weight. And guard against urinary tract infections by keeping up on personal hygiene, wiping front to back and drinking fluids regularly. You can also ask your doctor about bladder training or surgeries to treat prolapse and other underlying conditions that make your bladder sensitive.
To feel help confident and fresh even as leaks happen, try new Always Discreet liners, Always Discreet pads, and Always Discreet Underwear. They offer amazing sensitive bladder protection. The liners and pads have a thin and flexible design for light to moderate protection and the underwear have double LeakGuards™ to help stop leaks where they happen most.