Why the Natural Changes of Menopause?
Whether you’re in your late 40s, your early 50s, or even closer to 60, going through menopause can be a difficult time. You may suffer one or all of the symptoms of mood swings, irrational feelings, irregular menstrual cycles, daily hot flushes, or unexplained headaches. Or, you may be one of the lucky ones who suffers no symptoms at all.
However, one symptom that is rarely discussed is the impact on women’s bladder control as they go through the natural changes of menopause.
Hormone changes, chiefly the reduction of oestrogen, affect women going through menopause. This change can result in the bladder moving position, due to the abdominal muscles being affected by less oestrogen. Once the bladder has shifted slightly, the pelvic floor muscles can be less effective.
See our Poise® Nutrition and Lifestyle Tips below to help women going through menopause manage and control Bladder Weakness.
Also be sure to talk to your doctor, health care professional or nurse continence advisor as they will help you determine, control and improve your condition.
Walking, yoga, and other regular exercise and pelvic floor exercises may ease some of your menopause symptoms including your mood. In general, exercise is excellent to keep the rest of your muscles fit and active to help support your pelvic floor. Poise® Products offer discreet protection to help you exercise with peace of mind.
Keep your fluids up
Although you may think that not drinking is going to help, it actually makes the problem worse by concentrating urine which can lead to bladder infections. Drinking 1.5 litres, or 6-8 glasses of water a day will ensure your kidneys are well flushed and your bladder is getting proper training.
Watch your weight
Gaining weight can have a serious impact on your bladder and the supporting muscles of the pelvic floor. The fluctuating hormone levels of menopause can lead to over-eating and weight gain, so keep an eye on that waistline.
Be careful not to worsen any conditions
Fluid retention and blood pressure are already under the influence of menopausal hormonal changes, so be sure to limit saturated fat and choose foods low in salt, so not to worsen any issues.
No “just in case” toilet trips
Try to get out of the habit of going to the toilet “just in case” as over time this can result in your bladder developing a smaller holding capacity. Try to hold on until you have at least 300 ml in your bladder (approximately 10 seconds of constant urine flow).
Certain foods and drinks can irritate bladders. Citrus fruits, tomatoes or hot spices may have this effect on you. Try keeping a bladder diary to see which ones may be affecting your bladder weakness.
A cuppa or something stronger
Alcohol and caffeine dehydrate the body by making more urine but they can also irritate the bladder making you want to urinate before you need to. Watch for their effects on you, so you can see when one cup or glass, is too many, or whether you should avoid these altogether.
Acupuncture has shown itself to be a good option for women who are going through menopause as a US university study showed women who received a 7-week course of acupuncture reported a reduction in the severity of their nocturnal hot flushes.
This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek advice from a qualified health care professional with any questions regarding your concerns.