Menopause and Incontinence - Bladder Problems and Hot Flashes

Jasmine Schmidt Health Guide
  • Some interesting incontinence news this week...

     

    The Effect of Menopause on the Pelvic Floor and Bladder Function

     

    I myself have written about the possible effects of menopause on the pelvic floor, but a recent study published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology contradicts that widely-held belief. Apparently the research showed, if anything, a mild decrease in incontinence during menopause.

     

    Hormone Replacement Therapy and Incontinence

     

    The article I read about the report didn't list many specifics, so I'm not sure if or how the study took factors such as hormone replacement therapy into consideration.

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    By the way, separate studies on the effects of hormone replacement therapy have shown that statistically it neither increases nor decreases incontinence - although individuals sometimes report noticing a change one way or the other.

     

    My research into this topic lead me to find a new section entirely about urinary incontinence posted on 3/31 on the U.S. News and World Report website.

    Interestingly, the statement that caused the keywords "incontinence" and "menopause" to find the section was actually, "Because of their pelvic anatomy and changes related to childbirth and menopause, women are three times as likely to suffer from [incontinence] as men."

     

    See, I told you it was a widely-held belief! I'm not ready to say that this one new study wipes away everything we thought we knew about menopause and incontinence, but it sure will be interesting to see what the inevitable follow-up studies will conclude.

     

    FYI: The section on the U.S. News and World Report website can be found under their health section, and further classified under women's health.

     

    I love to see any new press coverage of this "closeted" issue. Hopefully they'll continue the trend by writing next about urinary incontinence in men or fecal incontinence! I'm sure it wouldn't hurt to send a few letters from valued readers such as you and me, thanking the good folks at U.S. News and World Report for the much-needed coverage, and requesting further topics in this area be covered (wink, wink).

     

    Jasmine Schmidt is the Director of Education at the Simon Foundation for Continence, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing education and support to individuals living with incontinence. Please visit www.simonfoundation.org for more information.

Published On: April 02, 2008