When you enter menopause, you are producing less estrogen, which is responsible for keeping the bladder and urethra healthy. As bladder muscles age, you lose the ability to store urine, which is called urinary incontinence.
You may notice that you leak urine when you sneeze, cough, or laugh. Trouble emptying your bladder can cause urine to leak since the bladder is always full. Some women may have problems making it to the toilet in time.
Here are four ways to control urinary incontinence:
Reduce Caffeine Intake
If you’re used to making a Starbucks run before work, you may have to switch to decaffeinated coffee or fruit juice.
Caffeine drinks such as soda, coffee, tea, and some energy drinks can overstimulate the bladder and increase the volume of urine. This doesn’t mean you’ll never get to enjoy your favorite beverage, just make it an occasional treat.
Excess weight can weaken your pelvic floor muscles, and fatty tissue can put too much pressure on the bladder. Your symptoms may improve, and could clear up completely, if you lose the excess weight.
Apply Topical Estrogen Cream
Your doctor may not want to prescribe estrogen when you’re in menopause because it may increase your risk of suffering a stroke, blood clots, or cancer.
However, topical estrogen cream contains less estrogen and can be applied directly to the target areas. Since less estrogen is circulating in the body, there are fewer side effects.
Do Kegel Exercises
Kegel exercises strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, and can prevent or control urinary incontinence.
First you need to locate your pelvic floor muscles. Stop urination in midstream. Now that you know what to do, you can perform Kegel exercises in any position and even when you are out of the house.
Tighten the pelvic floor muscles for three seconds and then relax for a count of three. Aim for three sets of ten repetitions a day. It’s important not to flex the muscles in your abdomen, thighs, or buttocks.
If you have trouble locating your pelvic floor muscles, make an appointment with your regular doctor or gynecologist.