Did you know that severe female urinary incontinence is a very common issue that affects about 6-10% of US and European vulva-owners, both young and mature? The reasons for this phenomenon are different, ranging from congenital to those associated with the urinary sphincter weakening.
Unfortunately, most vulva-owners do not dare to talk about it and even downplay it to their doctor due to the embarrassing nature and realization that one has entered the ‘leaking urine’ stage of life and lacks knowledge of how to deal with urinary incontinence. Do you notice a difference in urges to pee and your ability to control it throughout the month? Do you see a pattern emerging with uncontrollable leaking and urges as you move through your cycle?
Let’s find out about:
- the leading causes of urinary incontinence;
- estrogen influence on this disorder;
- types of treatment patients can use.
What is Urinary Incontinence?
As you may know, the female genitourinary system is very different from that of the male. Female urinary incontinence is very typical, compared to only about 3-11% of men who usually face similar problems (for instance, leaking urine without knowing it) in the presence of a characteristic disease – prostate adenoma.
Naturally, chronic female incontinence affects one’s day-to-day due to its obvious inconveniences, often resulting in shame, embarrassment, or anxiety. Alternatively, frequent urination in women is often a symptom of other health issues. Therefore, it is better to seek a professional’s advice.
What is functional urinary incontinence in a nutshell? It is the involuntary leakage of urine from the urethra. Leaking urine can happen when the pelvic floor muscles are strained (for example, when laughing, coughing, lifting weights) or completely relaxed. Along with the occurrence of the symptom of incontinence in women, it often provokes psycho-emotional disorders.
If you have this problem, you definitely should not hesitate to seek help from a qualified specialist.
What Causes Incontinence?
Due to vulva-owners peculiarities and the urethra location, urinary incontinence often occurs after childbirth due to overstrain of the pelvic floor muscles and rupture of soft tissues. Also, very often, such problems are stimulated by constant stress and overwork.
What causes incontinence in women? Here are some more common reasons:
- overweight stature;
- previous gynecological procedures;
- menopause and age-related weakening of the pelvic floor muscles;
- overactive bladder syndrome;
- neurogenic bladder syndrome;
- stress and anxiety.
Treatment for incontinence should begin only when the exact cause of incontinence is known. Those who experience incontinence should not self-diagnose and self-medicate before consulting a specialist. The same goes for performing Kegel exercises and other ways of strengthening the pelvic floor — talk to your doctor first to make sure you are doing the exercises right.
What is Female Stress Incontinence?
What can cause stress incontinence in those born female and vulva owners?
Stress urinary incontinence in females occurs when intra-abdominal pressure increases. Most often, this happens when lifting weights and generally playing sports. As the issue develops and progresses, female stress incontinence occurs with even the slightest exertion: minor stress, laughing, coughing, sneezing, or intimacy.
One version of stress incontinence is well known to the afflicted to be a sudden urge to urinate. And most of the time, the bladder is not full or only slightly filled, but the urgency to pee is unexpected and feels like an emergency.
The problem can also occur during sexual intercourse. While it’s nothing to be ashamed of – this is a very common disorder in the female body. However, urinary incontinence during orgasm is usually associated with an overactive bladder. Fortunately, today these issues are almost always solved without ovaries’ surgery.
Incontinence During Period
For many vulva-owners, the sympathetic nervous system’s influence on the bladder sphincter functioning depends on the cycle, both during menstruation and in different reproductive periods, which affect the level of female hormones.
A decrease in estrogen and other hormonal fluctuations can increase the chance of leaking urine before or during periods. Therefore, at certain phases of the menstrual cycle, urinary incontinence occurs even in fertile women with high levels of hormones and, in particular, without estrogen imbalance.
Urinary Incontinence During Menopause
Urinary incontinence during menopause is associated with hormonal imbalance – about 50% of postmenopausal women are affected. A decrease in estrogen production leads to a weakening of the bladder epithelial lining, which causes irreparable deterioration in urinary control and provokes menopause incontinence.
The older the female body becomes, the more difficult it is for the sphincter to retain urine. Urological pads for menopause urinary incontinence help solve the problem of menopause urine leakage locally. They can help the individual greatly facilitate socialization and significantly improve the quality of life.
Now let’s look at some of the common questions vulva-owners with urinary incontinence have.
Can hormones cause urine leakage?
Stress urinary incontinence occurs due to a weakening of the pelvic floor with reduced collagen content in the pelvic ligaments. A decrease in collagen levels can be congenital, but this phenomena often connect with a lack of estrogen in menopausal and postmenopausal ages. Thus, the deficiency of female sex hormones indirectly provokes urinary incontinence.
Can you pee a lot before your period?
The most common signs and symptoms of early pregnancy, PMS, and the start of your period include mood swings, back pain, increased urination, and tender breasts. Thus, excessive urination is a natural occurrence for many of the periodic processes in the female body.
Why do I leak urine before my period?
Stress incontinence can worsen during 5-7 days before the menstrual period. At that time, lowered estrogen levels might lead to lower muscular pressure around the urethra, increasing leakage chances.
Is frequent urination a sign of hormonal imbalance?
It can be, though hormonal imbalance is not the only possible reason for frequent urination. Symptoms of urinary frequency and urgency, with or without incontinence, suggest an overactive bladder and are most common in postmenopausal vulva-owners. An increase in symptoms is due to urogenital atrophy, while a decrease in muscle tone, ligaments, and pelvic organs can lead to stress urinary incontinence.
Can low estrogen cause urine leakage?
Urogenital disorders in postmenopausal vulva-owners are often due to a decrease in female hormone production.
The goal of therapy for postmenopausal urogenital disorders is to balance hormones. Local administration of therapeutic doses of estriol is recognized as one of the safest methods. At the end of the treatment, the doctor prescribes some supportive therapy.
Does estrogen help treat urine leakage?
Deficiency of estrogen during menopause leads to the development of atrophic changes in the membranes of the urogenital organs, ligaments, and muscles of the pelvic floor, which, in turn, causes urinary incontinence. Therefore, taking estrogen in the form of pills or topical creams can help solve this problem.
As you can see, urinary incontinence is one of the most common disorders of the female genitourinary system. Therefore, dealing with this annoying issue can be remedied with the appropriate therapy. Fortunately, there are many solutions to this problem: from surgery to medication based on female hormones.
To determine the course of treatment, be sure to consult a doctor. The sooner you receive medical help, the sooner you can return to normal.