Symptoms – urinary incontinence
Start with the underlying causes
Anywhere from 30–70% of perimenopausal and menopausal women experience some
symptoms of urinary incontinence. This loss of bladder control takes three main
- leaking urine randomly (“urinary incontinence”)
- leaking urine on coughing or sneezing (“stress incontinence”)
- urgently needing to empty your bladder (“urge incontinence”)
We urge you to see your healthcare provider to rule out any structural abnormality,
infection or other medical condition that may be causing your urinary problems.
But if your symptoms arise during perimenopause or after weaning off HRT, you are
probably just suffering one of the common consequences of declining estrogen.
Just like the tissue in the adjacent vagina, the tissue in
urethra (the opening to the bladder) is highly estrogen–dependent.
The drop in estrogen that occurs in perimenopause can lead to urethral atrophy or
thinning of the tissue in both areas.
You can use a mirror to check yourself. The normal appearance of the urethral tissue
is pink, plump and moist. With declining estrogen it may appear very pale or almost
white. This means the opening to the bladder may be weaker and less able to maintain
good bladder control, or less resilient to irritation or infection.
What can you do about urinary dysfunction?
Once your healthcare provider has eliminated any medical conditions, your strategy
should be to support your bodys inherent ability to make and balance its hormones.
Your major options are:
Nutritional support and nutritional supplements (including essential fatty acids)
to provide the nutrients your body needs to make sufficient estrogen.
Endocrine support, including phytotherapy such as
Herbal Equilibrium. But we also recommend soy or other dietary sources of
phytoestrogens for long-term support.
Adequate hydration. We recommend at least ten 8-ounce glasses of water a day.
Kegel exercises to strengthen
urethral muscles and enhance control.
Some women will need advanced intervention, such as professional bladder control
physical therapy, bladder biofeedback training, or topical prescription-strength
estrogen treatment to the area.
To learn more, read our full article on
urinary incontinence in women.
Our Personal Program is a great place to start
The Personal Program promotes natural hormonal balance with nutritional supplements,
our exclusive endocrine support formula, dietary and lifestyle guidance, and optional
phone consultations with our Nurse–Educators. It is a convenient, at-home
version of what we recommend to all our patients at the clinic.
If you have questions, don't hesitate to call us toll-free at
1-800-798-7902. We're here to listen and help.
Last Modified Date: 04/27/2012