Hormone Changes in Women

hormones change as women age

Hormone changes occur  throughout a woman’s life time.

Women have the hormone estrogen in their body. Estrogen helps develop female characteristics, and is responsible for your monthly period by causing the lining of your uterus to build up before being released every 28 days or so.  Estrogen also helps your pelvic floor to be strong, supple and stretchy, which gives you greater control over your bladder and bowel function. Stress urinary incontinence is the most common type of incontinence experienced as a result of a loss of tissue strength from declining estrogen levels in the peri (before) and post (after) menopausal stage of life. Prior pelvic floor injury from multiple or traumatic vaginal deliveries tends to contribute to a higher incidence of stress urinary incontinence in menopause. Estrogen depletion can contribute to more urgency, frequency of urination (OAB) and sometimes urge urinary incontinence.Continue reading

Diabetes

autonomic nerves

Over time, diabetes will damage nerves.

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition where your body resists the effects of insulin (or does not produce enough insulin) to maintain a normal glucose level in your body.  Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes, with about 95% of all people with diabetes in the USA having this form.  Type 2 diabetes increases your risk and severity for both urinary and fecal incontinence. Continue reading

Constipation

Picking fresh tomatoes

Eating fresh fruits and vegetables may help ease constipation.

Constipation occurs when stool becomes very difficult to pass from the rectum and out the anus. Stool that remains in the rectum for too long may stretch and weaken the sphincter muscle, allowing watery stools to leak around the lodged stool and then out of the anus – accidental bowel leakage (ABL).  Constipation may also cause you to strain. Straining while trying to pass stool may weaken your sphincter muscles, which can also increase your risk of bowel incontinence or ABL.Continue reading

Chronic Cough and Asthma

Coughing

A cough can put extra stress on your bladder.

Many people have urinary leakage when they cough, laugh or sneeze.  This is called stress urinary incontinence (SUI). In some cases, asthma or a chronic cough that lasts for many years can stretch the muscles of the pelvic floor and may make tiny tears in the muscles. These tears may cause stress urinary incontinence.Continue reading