Urinary Incontinence Due to Menopause

Urinary incontinence is not a symptom many people attribute to menopause, but the truth is, estrogen plays a large part in how the bladder triggers the release of urine. To understand how menopause can cause incontinence, let’s look at how the urinary system works.

The bladder is simply a balloon designed to catch the urine the kidneys make as they release the filtered toxins from the blood. When the bladder becomes full, it triggers the brain to open the urethra and through a series of contractions, the urine is voided through the urinary tract and out of the body. After urination, the urethra closes again and the cycle repeats.

Estrogen is responsible for keeping the urethra in tiptop working condition as well as stimulating blood flow to the pelvic muscles. As the body enters into menopause, the level of estrogen circulating in the system drops dramatically, which has a negative impact on the strength of the urethra as well as allowing laxity in the muscles responsible for keeping the urine in the bladder. This, combined with the damage caused by pregnancy and childbirth, allow the bladder to leak urine.

There are several different types of incontinence that a menopausal woman can experience.

Stress incontinence: This type of incontinence allows urine to leak out of the bladder during times of muscle stress on the bladder such as when you sneeze or cough.

Urge incontinence: This type of incontinence occurs when you suddenly feel the urge to urinate. This is the most common type of incontinence experienced by menopausal women.

Overflow incontinence: This occurs when women are unable to completely empty their bladders during urination, allowing them to fill up more quickly, sometimes causing leakage.

There are a number of drugs on the market today, by prescription only that will help with incontinence symptoms. You can also choose from a variety of products made to help you deal with occasional leakage. Consult your doctor for more information about menopause induced incontinence.

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