Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence is the accidental, often uncontrollable leakage of urine. It is a common condition experienced during perimenopause and post-menopause. The decrease in estrogen during menopause transition can cause the thinning of the urethra, which is the tube that empties urine from the body. In addition, our pelvic muscles can weaken as we get older. There are several different types of urinary incontinence, but there are two most commonly experienced by women as we age:

  • stress incontinence is when urine leaks due to pressure on the bladder. It can occur due to regular activities coughing, sneezing, laughing or lifting a heavy object.
  • urge incontinence, or overactive bladder, is the sudden urge to urinate. It is often followed by accidental leakage.

Urinary incontinence is more commonly experienced by women in midlife, but it is not inevitable. Diet and lifestyle changes — like avoiding caffeine and alcohol and doing exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor — can help lessen, if not avoid, disruptive bladder leaks.