Incontinence, or the inability to control your bladder, is yet another symptom of perimenopause (the time right before menopause). The causes vary, but in menopausal women, hormonal imbalance is the most common.
Incontinence has been classified into three categories: The first is called stress incontinence, which refers to leaking that occurs while laughing, sneezing, or engaging in some other physical activity. The second, or urge incontinence, is a surprise and desperate need to urinate, followed by uncontrolled urination. Overflow incontinence, the third, is recognized as a constant dribble of urine. Though embarrassing, it isn't the end of the world and below are listed tips for coping with incontinence.
Helpful Hints to Avoid Embarrassing Situations
Even if you can't cure your incontinence, there are ways to live a perfectly normal life. You just have to get a little creative.
Plan How Long You'll Be Away from Home
It can be difficult to gauge how long you'll be away from a toilet, but if you make an effort, it might not be so hard. Wear a pad just in case, and pack an extra if you have the room.
Monitor Your Liquid Intake
If you know you have to give a presentation in 30 minutes in front of the whole office, it's probably not the best time for a woman suffering from incontinence to chug a glass of water. Sip enough to quench your thirst, and wait until after the meeting to get your eight glasses of water in for the day.
Have an Emergency Plan
You have to be spontaneous sometimes. Try carrying one of those annoyingly over-sized purses; it's a discrete way to take around spare pants in case of an accident. Or if you're lucky enough to have your own desk at work, designate a drawer for a change of clothes. Steer clear from fabrics that show liquid stains easily.
But don't just grab your running shoes and run out the door. Instead, try Kegel exercises, or exercises designed to strengthen the pelvis which supports your bladder. Kegels, once mastered, can be done anywhere, even while writing a report at work.
Not literally, of course, but pick foods that raise estrogen levels, such as tofu or cherries.
More Information about Urinary Incontinence
Different types of incontinence can have different causes. Hormonal imbalance is the most common cause. Being aware of your lifestyle and being informed about your incontinence can help you to live a normal life. Urinary Incontinence affects 40% of menopausal women. Click here to keep reading about urinary incontinence.
- Mayo Clinic.(n.d)."Urinary Incontinence." Retrieved from www.mayoclinic.com
- Sullivan, Dr. N.H.(n.d). "Menopause and Incontinence." Providence Health and Services. Retrieved from www.providence.org