INCONTINENCE DUE TO A LOSS OF OESTROGEN
Oestrogen is a hormone that helps regulate your monthly cycles. It also protects against heart disease, slows bone deterioration, and keeps your bladder and urethra in tip top shape and performing as it should.
However, with the onset of Menopause, your Oestrogen levels start to drop; meaning your pelvic muscles begin to weaken and are less likely to control your bladder. This is a process known as ’pelvic relaxation’. Additionally, your urethral tissues also start to thin. Consequently, as you age, and your Oestrogen levels continue to drop throughout Menopause (and after), urinary incontinence becomes a bigger problem.
WHAT KINDS OF INCONTINENCE IS MOST TYPICAL DURING MENOPAUSE?
Here are the most common urinary incontinence types you may develop with the onset of Menopause.
Stress incontinence — This is one of the most common kinds of bladder control problems in older women. It happens when urine involuntarily leaks with a cough, a laugh, a sneeze, when you’re exercising, or lifting something a bit heavy. Sudden pressure to the bladder walls from these activities can cause incontinence because they squeeze the bladder causing urine leakage.
Urge incontinence — The most common bladder control problem in older people. With Urge incontinence, the bladder spasms and contracts resulting in the sudden, intense, and frequent urge to urinate, followed shortly by an uncontrollable loss of urine. With this condition, urine leaks because your bladder muscles contract at the wrong time (or all the time). This type of incontinence can strike while sleeping, drinking, or while listening to running water.
Overflow incontinence — Characterised by frequent or constant dribbling urine. If you have Overflow incontinence, you’ll find yourself unable to empty your bladder fully, which fills up and then overflows, causing leakage. On top of having the sensation of never fully emptying your bladder, when you urinate, you’ll produce only a weak stream of urine. This type of incontinence is prevalent with those who have damaged bladders or blocked urethras, or as a result of nerve damage from diabetes.