Many men and women, entering the Andropause or Menopause stage, experience perhaps the most embarrassing symptom of all: urinary incontinence.
They tend to notice the lack of bladder control especially when sneezing or laughing.
As a men / woman approaches andropause / menopause, hormone production begins to decrease, which leads to a multitude of physical changes, including incontinence. To understand how to treat this symptom, it’s best to first understand exactly what it is, what causes it, and finally, what treatment options are available.
Types of incontinence
There are three main types of incontinence:
- stress incontinence
- urge incontinence
- overflow incontinence
Symptoms of incontinence
- urine leaks during a sneeze, laugh, or cough
- urine leaks when lifting or running
- not enough time to reach a toilet once the urge to urinate is felt
- urine continues to dribble after urinating
- urine leakage follows an intense desire to empty the bladder
- continual leakage of urine
Causes of Incontinence
Because stress incontinence is the most common type of incontinence for women embarking on menopause and women who are postmenopausal, it’s appropriate to begin there. This type of incontinence in women is almost always caused by hormonal imbalance, specifically decreased levels of estrogen.
Estrogen helps to keep a woman’s muscles strong, even the muscles that enable her to maintain control of her bladder. Estrogen also contributes to the health of the urinary tract lining. When estrogen levels begin to drop, as they do as women approach menopause, the muscles weaken and the bladder is more difficult to control.
The same happen with men, but with men it is not estrogen levels which are declining, but testosterone levels, leading to poor bladder control.
Other Causes of Incontinence
- Nerve damage from Diabetes or Stroke
- Heart Problems
- Medication such as diuretics (“water pills”), tranquilizers
- Difficulty walking or moving
- Weight Gain
Treatments for Incontinence
Fortunately for men and women who suffer from incontinence, there are several treatment options to make this pesky symptom a thing of the past.
It’s best to begin with the least obtrusive treatment (lifestyle changes), then move onto additional measures (alternative medicines).
A good way to alleviate incontinence is to strengthen pelvic floor muscles, which control the bladder. There are several exercise techniques to accomplish this.
- To begin, lie on the floor and squeeze or pull in the pelvic muscles. Keep them tight for a count of three. Release; rest for a few seconds. Repeat.
- It would also be helpful when experiencing incontinence to cut out caffeine and tobacco from your life. These substances can lead to worsened incontinence.
The best way to combat incontinence would be by mixing lifestyle changes and alternative medicines. While you work to strengthen pelvic floor muscles, you can also take certain herbs which can help to stimulate natural production of hormones. (Testosterone for men and estrogen for women)
Look at this Video for the correct way to Strengthen Pelvic Floor Muscles.