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Menopause and incontinence

As oestrogen levels begin to decrease during the perimenopause stage, the urethral and vaginal tissues may begin to thin and as women get older, pelvic floor muscles start to relax. These factors may result in urinary incontinence.

You may find that you experience a slight leak when you cough, sneeze or exercise – this is known as stress incontinence. An overactive bladder is another form of incontinence and this is where you have the urge of needing to go but can’t hold it. The good news is, there are natural ways to help deal with incontinence.

Pelvic floor exercises

Working your pelvic floor muscles can help to strengthen them. There’s some simple exercises you can do and add to part of your daily routine. To identify which muscles they are, next time you go to the loo, hold your urine midstream and they’re the ones you’re looking for! Here’s some exercises from our friends at MenoHealth that may help.

Stop smoking

Coughing can put pressure on your pelvic floor muscles so smoking could make matters worse. As we’ve mentioned before, this lifestyle change could improve many menopausal symptoms.

Strengthen your core

High impact exercises with a lot of movement could result in more leaks. Opt for exercise such as Pilates which can help to strengthen your core and improve stress incontinence. There’s lots of free videos out there and as well as classes specifically for women during the menopause.

Choose your drinks wisely

We all know that symptoms of the menopause may affect our sleep and as tempting as it is to reach for the caffeine in the morning, try to avoid it! Caffeine irritates the bladder and can make matters worse. Switch to decaf or opt for a herbal tea.

Alcohol naturally makes you need to urinate more often so it may be helpful to cut down especially when out and about.

Where do we start with the benefits of keeping hydrated with water? Not drinking enough will reduce how much your bladder can hold so don’t hold back on the H20!

Try out incontinence pads or underwear

Give yourself that peace of mind and extra support with incontinence pads or reusable underwear. There’s many on the market that look and feel like your normal underwear which can not only help with any stress and anxiety you may be feeling but also help you feel more confident.