Menopause can be a breeze, or it can be the worst thing that ever happened to you. This is not because it's your last period (who misses those?) but because of the often very unpleasant symptoms that oestrogen withdrawal can cause.
Symptoms such as hot flushes, irritability and insomnia do eventually disappear, though unfortunately it can take years!
But women often don't know about the atrophic changes which affect the genital skin and mucosa in menopause. This is called Genito Urinary Syndrome of Menopause (GSM). It often starts in perimenopause and just keeps geting worse without intervention.
GSM can ruin sex lives and cause permanent vaginal discomfort and/or urinary symptoms.
This may be acceptable if you're not sexually active, but for women who are sexually active, it can seriously impact a relationship.
Hormones are not the only option, and you need to find something that works for you and your personal circumstances.
Make an appointment with one of our women's health GPs who understand menopause, and once she understands what's important for you, she will tailor a treatment plan to your needs.
Of course incontinence is not 'life threatening', but it certainly is 'quality of life threatening', with many women that we treat using words like "embarrassing", "humiliating" and even "mortifyingly horrible" when describing their involuntary bladder leakage.
Incontinence is not necessarily an age related issue, young women get it too! However, it is more common in older women
Incontinence can be the result of increased pressure (urge incontinence, or as a result of weakness in the pelvic floor (stress incontinence). Many women have a mixed picture with a bit of both. And in most cases, help is at hand.
Let's Get this Sorted!
Your doctor will take a detailed history and will likely ask you to keep a bladder diary for at least one week. She will also probably ask you to have some investigations close to home such as blood and urine tests.
Once we receive your results, there may be some more investigations required such as urodynamics testing.
Subsequently, you may be referred to a Clinic 66 endorsed pelvic floor physio, gynaecologist or urogynaecologist.
We will help you find a local expert to help with your issue, and keep following you up until you have the outcome you are looking for.
You do NOT need to organise your day around where the toilets are or worry about marking your clothes
You do NOT need to dehydrate yourself just to manage your symptoms.
Stop putting up with it!
You do not have to suffer
Menopause is a good time to do some important screening and preventative maintenance to identify any potential risk factors for common aging conditions such as heart disease, osteoporosis, and cancer.
Cervical cancer screening is recommended for women 25-74 yrs. Breast and bowel cancer screening is recommended for women over 50 years (or before if they have a family history).
Last updated on 08/07/2021