Menopause and Bladder Control
Some women begin to have problems with their bladder and experience overactive bladder (gotta go, gotta go right now) and urinary incontinence or loss of urine at inopportune times at the time or shortly after menopause.
Does Menopause Affect Bladder Control?
Yes. Some women have bladder control problems after they stop having periods (menopause or change of life). If you are going through menopause, talk to your health care team.
After your periods end, your body stops making the female hormone estrogen. Estrogen may help keep the lining of the bladder and urethra healthy. A lack of estrogen could contribute to weakness of the bladder control muscles.
Pressure from coughing, sneezing or lifting can push urine through the weakened muscle. This kind of leakage is called stress incontinence.
Although there is no evidence that taking estrogen improves bladder control in women who have gone through menopause, small does may help thicken the bladder lining and decrease the incontinence. Your doctor can suggest many other possible treatments to improve bladder control.
What Else Causes Bladder Control Problems in Older Women?
Sometimes bladder control problems are caused by other medical conditions. These problems include:
Nerve damage from diabetes or stroke
Difficulty walking or moving
A very common kind of bladder control problem for older women is urge incontinence. This means the bladder muscles squeeze at the wrong time and cause leaks.
If you have this problem, your doctor can prescribe medication that can certainly alleviate that problem.
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