Lack of estrogen in menopause weakens the bladder
Hot flashes, mood swings and outbreaks of sweat are considered classic menopausal symptoms that burden the everyday life of many women. But that's not all: Around two thirds of them also have difficulty keeping water during menopause. So constant urge to urinate spoils cozy restaurant visits, nightly visits to the toilet cost restful sleep and the permanent search for the next toilet makes every shopping spree a rush. It often takes months for people to trust a urologist. The complaints can usually be remedied with simple measures. Pelvic floor training and local hormone treatment, which only has a limited effect on the body, can significantly improve the quality of life.
"Changes in the hormonal balance are responsible for sudden incontinence," says Dr. Reinhold Schaefer, urologist and medical director of the medical network Uro-GmbH North Rhine. During the menopause, the body produces fewer and fewer estrogens because the ovaries slowly stop working - with a variety of health consequences. For example, the female body reacts more strongly to substances in the urine due to the falling estrogen level. This increases the urge to urinate. In addition, the lack of estrogens increases the ph value in the female genital area and mucous membranes are poorly supplied with blood. This makes it more susceptible to pathogens and increases the risk of bladder infections or urinary tract infections. In addition, the lack of estrogen weakens connective tissue, sphincter and pelvic floor muscles. This can lead to a lowering of the bladder and uterus and thus promote bladder weakness. "Many women believe that incontinence is a normal side effect of the menopause that they have to live with," explains Dr. Shepherd. “But an important step is to see a urologist if you have any complaints. He can determine whether it is a bladder weakness or maybe a urinary tract infection. The latter also occurs without blood in the urine, burning when urinating or pain in the lower abdomen. "
For the treatment of incontinence due to the lack of female hormones, urologists recommend the local administration of estrogens. Without resorting to extensive hormone therapy, this form of hormone administration has only a limited effect on the body, so experts consider the risk to be low. Appropriate ointments and suppositories improve blood flow to the bladder and keep the tissue elastic. If you don't like ointments or suppositories, you can also use tablets. In the right dosage moistened with saliva and inserted into the vagina, they can dissolve there completely and without residues. They also help the female genital area to rebuild a protective milieu. Regular strengthening of the pelvic floor through targeted exercises or sports has also proven its worth. Cycling is particularly suitable even at low intensity and works better the more affected people pedal. Riding, walking, swimming and yoga also strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. "But you shouldn't go jogging because it puts a huge strain on the pelvic floor," concludes Dr. (pm)