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Menopause

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. 

You can get help with your Menopause symptoms with the experts at Clinic 66 Online
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Menopause & Incontinence - What you need to know

Menopause is a transformative phase in a woman's life, and it often brings about various changes, including difficulties with bladder and bowel control. If you're experiencing these issues, you're not alone. Many women encounter symptoms such as:

Incontinence can be treated by telehealth at Clinic 66 Online
  • Frequent urination and urgent need to urinate

  • Urinary leakage with coughing, sneezing, or exercise

  • Leaking urine before reaching the toilet

  • Nighttime awakenings to urinate (nocturia)

  • Frequent urinary tract infections

  • Urgency to have a bowel movement

  • Difficulty controlling flatulence

  • Constipation

Ignoring these problems can lead to worsening symptoms over time, affecting your work, social activities, and personal relationships.

The good news is that incontinence can often be prevented, managed, and even cured. Seeking help is crucial, so be sure to discuss your incontinence issues with your doctor when addressing menopause symptoms.

How Menopause Affects Bladder and Bowel Control:

Weak Pelvic Floor Muscles:

As menopause sets in, the pelvic floor muscles, responsible for preventing urine and faecal leakage, may weaken. This weakness can result in a frequent urge to use the toilet, decreased ability to hold on, and difficulty reaching the toilet in time. Weak pelvic floor muscles can also make it challenging to control flatulence and may contribute to the development of prolapse.

 

Less Elastic Bladder:

Aging causes the bladder to become less elastic and have reduced stretching ability. This loss of stretchiness can irritate the bladder muscle, making it "overactive." An overactive bladder leads to increased urinary frequency. Combined with weakened pelvic floor muscles, this makes it more challenging to postpone or control the urge to urinate.

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

any longer!!

Vaginal Dryness:

The decline in oestrogen during menopause results in vaginal dryness, as the vaginal lining produces less mucus. Similar changes occur in the urethra, the tube leading from the bladder. Vaginal dryness increases the risk of urinary tract infections as normal bowel bacteria can enter the urethra. Treatments like vaginal oestrogen cream or an oestrogen pessary can alleviate vaginal dryness, while maintaining proper personal hygiene is essential.

 

Weight Gain:

Many women experience weight gain during menopause, which can strain the pelvic floor muscles responsible for supporting body weight. Weakened pelvic floor muscles fail to adequately support the bladder and bowel, leading to stress incontinence (leakage during coughing or sneezing) or urge incontinence (frequent or urgent need to urinate).

 

Hysterectomy:

Women who undergo a hysterectomy or prolapse repair surgery may experience bladder control issues. Pre- and post-surgery pelvic floor exercises should be incorporated into the treatment plan.

 

Anal Trauma/Surgery:

Some women may develop bowel control problems during menopause, especially if they have previously given birth. Trauma or damage to the anal sphincter during childbirth may manifest as issues later in life. Pelvic floor muscle exercises can help, but surgical intervention may be necessary for some women to repair the damage.

Understanding how menopause affects bladder and bowel control empowers you to seek appropriate treatment and management strategies. By addressing these concerns, you can improve your quality of life and regain control over your body.

Incontinence

Menopause, Incontinence & Healthy Aging

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Healthy Aging in Menopause

Healthy Aging

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).

Happy Woman

Last updated on 08/07/2021

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