Your ovaries stop making oestrogen during the menopause transition. Without oestrogen, your vaginal tissue becomes less elastic. The lining of your urethra, the tube that empties urine from your bladder, begins to thin and makes you susceptible to urine leakage.
You may also experience symptoms such as going to the toilet more often, discomfort when going to the toilet or pain in the vaginal area. If a urinary tract infection has been ruled out by your healthcare professional, then the symptoms could be due to the thinning of your urethra.
Urinary incontinence (UI) (loss of bladder control) is when urine leaks out before you can get to a toilet.
If you have Ul, you are not alone! Millions of women have this problem, especially as they get older.
Some women may lose a few drops of urine when they cough or laugh. Others may feel a sudden urge to urinate and cannot control it. Urine loss can also occur during sexual activity and can cause great emotional distress.
To help with UI, you can practice your pelvic floor exercises. You can feel your pelvic floor muscles if you try to stop the flow of urine when you go to the toilet. (However, it is not recommended that you regularly stop your flow of urine midstream, because it can be harmful to the bladder.)
To strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, sit comfortably and squeeze the muscles 10 to 15 times in a row. Do not hold your breath or tighten your stomach, buttock or thigh muscles at the same time. When you get used to doing pelvic floor exercises, you can try holding each squeeze for a few seconds. Every week, you can add more squeezes, but be careful not to overdo it.
If you are concerned about urinary incontinence, or urinary track infections speak to your healthcare professional.
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