Do you feel like you suffer from a small bladder since you’ve had children; or when you cough or sneeze, you leak urine? Bladder issues are a complaint many women have and can be quite embarrassing. If you think these urinary symptoms were bad in your 20’s and 30’s, they may actually worsen or can develop later on in life due to hormonal changes.
Women going through hormone changes associated with perimenopause and menopause need to watch out for the development of these 3 common urinary complaints.
3 Common Urinary Complaints
- Lack of control due to a laugh, sneeze or a cough, for example (Stress Incontinence)
- Lack of control due to the bladder being full (Urge Incontinence)
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
No one is really sure why this occurs, but lower estrogen levels can result in decreasing pelvic floor muscle tone along with thinning and drying of the vaginal area. This change can expose women to increase a risk of infection and decrease bladder control. All of which can have a significant impact on a woman’s quality of life, unless she knows what to expect and how to deal with these issues effectively.
The diminishing estrogen levels in your body not only results in changes in the vaginal tissues but also the position of the urethra in relation to the vagina and bladder. This can make you more prone to urinary or vaginal infections.
Now that you know the main symptoms to look out for and what causes them, these natural remedies can help.
Natural Remedies To Overcome Urinary Complaints
1. Stay Well Hydrated
Staying well hydrated is important, but you want to avoid drinking large amounts of irritating liquids such as caffeinated drinks, tea, and diet or regular soda. Drink fresh water and eat more soups and stews to add liquid to your diet and nutrition at the same time. This should also help you feel fuller for long, which can help you with dieting and lose water weight if you feel bloated and puffy due to your hormones.
Avoid drinking a lot of liquid before bed, so you are not disturbed in the middle of the night and are less likely to release urine. Go to the bathroom before bed. You also want to be sure and urinate before and after sex.
2. Practice Bladder Training
Bladder training can take some time, but it is effective for all forms of incontinence and pelvic floor weakness. The most common way to strengthen your pelvic floor is by doing Kegel exercises daily. This is the process of contracting your pelvic floor muscles and holding the contraction for 3–10 seconds. Then release the contraction for 1–5 seconds. Repeat the exercise 10–20 times and do this exercise twice daily.
3. Change Lifestyle
An overactive bladder can be a real nuisance. Whenever you go out somewhere – the first thing you do – is locating a bathroom in case you have to make a mad dash for it. Fortunately, there are many effective lifestyle measures that can help:
- Include abdominal strength in your exercise routine
- Begin a healthy weight loss program, as the added weight increase the pressure on your bladder and further weakens the pelvic floor
- Avoid alcohol and acidic foods
- Stop smoking
- Add unsweetened cranberry juice or a cranberry extract to your diet
- Add probiotics (such as low-fat yogurt with live cultures in it and not too much sugar)
Urinary Tract Infections
Reduce your risk of getting into a vicious cycle of recurrent urinary tract infections. This can be done with some simple habits. But when this is not enough, you will want to consult your healthcare provider to discuss other ways to reduce your risk of recurrent infections, such as vaginal estrogens, using a pessary, and evaluating for other possible underlying medical conditions.
To lessen your infection risk try the following:
- Wearing cotton – not synthetic – underwear
- Avoiding perfumed products such as tampons and pads
- Avoiding douching
- Not holding urine too long
- Wiping from front to back
Now that you know what to do about the most common urinary symptoms of perimenopause and menopause, you might be able to worry less about leaking urine, finding the nearest bathroom, or dealing with yet another urinary tract infection.