Menopause & Urinary Incontinence
Urinary incontinence is common in women in perimenopause and menopause. There are two types of incontinence:
Urinary urgency is a sudden, compelling urge to urinate, it’s linked to an overactive bladder and a sensation of having to go to the toilet quickly.
Stress incontinence is a condition in which there is involuntary emission of urine when pressure within the abdomen increases suddenly, as in coughing or sneezing or laughing.
How many of you pee in your pants while running across the street before the light turns red? How many of you don’t go dancing, or running because of stress incontinence? These are examples of how menopausal symptoms can affect your quality of life (QOL).
These are things you can do to minimize incontinence:
Bladder irritation avoidance– certain foods and beverages can irritate the bladder, making it overactive. These include (don’t shoot the messenger) chocolate, tea, coffee, citrus fruits and juices, honey, sugar, tomato-based products, spicy foods, and alcohol.
Fluid restriction– limit intake of fluids to 8 cups a day but no less because concentrated urine may irritate the bladder and restricted fluid consumption can contribute to constipation. Limit fluid intake 1 hr before bedtime.
Weight loss– for obese women, weight loss can reduce incontinence by up to 60%
Good hygiene– keep genitals clean, avoid exposure to urine for long periods of time.
Pads-menstrual pads will work for some, while other women will need something more absorbent.
Time voiding-schedule times to go to the bathroom, gradually increasing the length of time between trips, thereby training your bladder to hold more and empty less often.
Kegel exercises-most likely you know what Kegel exercises are- exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. When done correctly they help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles but if done incorrectly they can make the problem worse. It’s worth getting qualified help from a certified Pelvic Floor physiotherapist.
If you need more information about menopause and how hormones affect your bladder contact me.
Teresa Isabel Dias
BSc Pharm, RPh, NCMP
Pharmacist and Certified Menopause Practitioner
Visit my website www.menopausED.org to learn more about menopause and book a consultation
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