Dealing with post-menopausal leaks

Dealing with post-menopausal leaks

Hormonal changes in your body can lead to a weaker bladder, but it doesn’t have to interfere with an active lifestyle.

Hormonal changes in your body can lead to a weaker bladder, but it doesn’t have to interfere with an active lifestyle.

There are lots of side effects to the menopause, but one of the most potentially embarrassing is the development of urinary incontinence, or a weak bladder.

You may have experienced this before, such as during or after pregnancy, but don’t worry if it’s making an unwelcome return to your life – things have moved on in terms of both medical research and protection.

Indeed, urinary incontinence can be treated, better managed and even cured – as long as you don’t simply ignore the problem, hoping it will go away.

The symptoms

It’s important to be familiar with the most common signs of menopausal urinary incontinence, so you can start to rule out any other issues, and treat the right symptoms. They include:

  • Leaking urine when you cough, sneeze or exercise
  • Leaking urine on the way to the bathroom
  • Waking up more than twice at night to urinate
  • Frequent urinary tract infections

The causes

There are a number of reasons that the menopause can lead to a weak bladder.

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, causing an “overactive bladder” sensation that makes you feel like you have to go more frequently.

Oestrogen depletion: with the onset of menopause, oestrogen production by your body drops. When this happens, your body is more susceptible to incontinence because the oestrogen that helped to 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.

What you can do

Even if you’re not suffering from a weak bladder at the moment, strengthening your pelvic muscles with exercises could help prevent it, and if you are suffering the exercises can help alleviate symptoms.

It can be tough with all those hormonal changes, but try to keep around your normal healthy weight, and guard against infections by keeping up on personal hygiene, wiping front to back and drinking fluids regularly.

Your doctor can help you find out about bladder training and surgeries to treat prolapse or other underlying conditions that can make your bladder sensitive.

Whatever happens, you can always feel confident and fresh, even when leaks happen, with the Always Discreet range of liners, pads and Always Discreet Underwear, offering amazing sensitive bladder protection.

The liners and pads have a thin, flexible design for light to moderate protection, and the underwear comes with double LeakGuards™ to help stop leaks where they happen most.

Do you suffer from a sensitive bladder? How do you cope with the daily challenges? Share your experiences in the comments box below.

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weak pelvic floor

Betti 05/02/2017

I have been told by my GP that I have a weak pelvic floor, I have had two large children both natural births the first needed forceps to aid delivery. anyway now age 66 and need a pad every day. seen a specialist physio but after 6 months of exercise no improvement so stopped going. An electrical stimulation device with a vaginal probe provided by the physio made me worse, I have seen a garment which wraps around the thighs and is said to strengthen the pelvic floor with electrical stimulation

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