For many women, the beginning of menopause ushers in a whole host of symptoms: hot flashes, moodiness, night sweats – all thanks to fluctuating levels of hormones. But there’s another common symptom that doesn’t get as much attention as urinary incontinence.
The fact is, many women report bladder leakage or overactive bladder when they reach their 40s and 50s, and although some research has indicated those symptoms may occur as a result of hormonal changes, more recent research says perhaps the link is not as strong as once believed.
The premise behind the possible link between the two has to do with hormone receptors that line a woman’s genitourinary tract. As hormones begin to diminish, those receptors may not receive the same communication from the bladder as they did during younger years, and that might contribute to bladder leakage or more frequent urges. Based on that theory, some practitioners turned to hormone replacement therapy to treat UI symptoms as well as other symptoms of menopause.
Now, a recent study from researchers in France says those hormone replacement products may not be as helpful as once thought for treating UI. In that study, oral products had no effect on stress incontinence; however, vaginal creams did prove effective in treating overactive bladder. According to the researchers, one of the issues in determining a link between menopause and UI is that it can be difficult to determine which symptoms may be due to hormone changes and which are due to other age-related changes like pelvic floor muscle weakness.
So what’s the take-home message for you? Regardless of the cause of urinary incontinence, it’s not something that should be ignored. There are many treatments for both UI and overactive bladder, and seeing your healthcare provider is the first step in determining the best approach for your needs. If you’re suffering with incontinence or overactive bladder, don’t ignore your symptoms or hope they just go away. Give the Incontinence Institute a call today at (800) 771-1953 and take that first step toward a more confident life.