Bladder Irritability – A Common Problem During Menopause
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Symptoms of Bladder Irritability after Menopause
Menopause rings a lot of bells regarding hormonal changes; one in particular – a reduction in estrogen production, leading to urogenital atrophy. This condition causes muscle mass atrophy in the bladder and urethra, affecting the ability to control urinary functions. Moreover, hormonal imbalance impacts the acidic environment of the vulva and vagina, making them more susceptible to infections.
Common symptoms include:
- Increased Frequency: It is characterized by the need to pass urine more often, both during the day and night.
- Painful Urination: Experiencing discomfort or pain when going to the bathroom.
- Urgency: Feeling a sudden, strong need to urinate that may lead to involuntary leaks (incontinence).
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Urinary symptoms that relate to menopause can also result from pelvic organ prolapse. It is a condition where pelvic organs descend into the vagina, most likely due to stress from vaginal childbirth. Other than that, damage in pelvic floor muscles may further exacerbate urinary issues. Furthermore, the evident loss of estrogen during menopause makes bladder tissue more sensitive, causing discomfort and an increased urge to empty the bladder prematurely.
- Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT): If urinary tract atrophy is the cause of your symptoms, HRT, which is majorly dominated by estrogen, is recommended. Systemic HRT or vaginal estrogen can be tailored based on your specific needs.
- Vaginal Estrogens: Creams, pessaries, or rings that have active estrogen can be directly applied into the vagina to address symptoms. Such treatments not only support the bladder and urethra but also help with other menopausal symptoms.
Some common tips and tricks include:
- Consulting a Urologist: If you are experiencing bladder symptoms, seek help from a urologist to check for infections and rule out other conditions that may be contributing to the trouble.
- Pelvic Floor Exercises: This technique is gaining popularity. Strengthening pelvic floor muscles is crucial to combat incontinence. Some of the common exercises include physiotherapy, pilates, or kegels.
- Dietary Modifications: Reduce alcohol and caffeine intake, as they have the tendency to irritate the bladder and increase urine production. Switching to herbal or decaffeinated alternatives may alleviate symptoms.
- Keep Up with Hydration: While it might seem like a viable option to drink less water to avoid frequent bathroom trips, dehydration can worsen bladder issues. Maintain proper hydration for overall health.
- Weight Management: As you enter the normal BMI, it alleviates pressure on the bladder, potentially improving symptoms of incontinence. Couple it with exercise plans for enhanced support.
- Bladder Training: This might seem like a far stretch, but it is possible to train your bladder to reduce urgency and frequency by practicing controlled delays before using the restroom.
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Call for help to address the urinary tract symptoms you are facing during menopause, as it requires a comprehensive approach. By combining medical intervention with lifestyle adjustments, you can effectively manage these changes and improve your quality of life. At Lewisville Women’s Care, our expert, Dr. Munira Dudhbhai, MD, FACOG, certified with the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, always prioritizes open communication, so consider us just a call away to help you. Call us at (972) 956-8008 to schedule an appointment today.