Why Your Risk Of Urinary Incontinence May Increase And What You Can Do About It
The tissues of the bladder and urethra contain estrogen and progesterone receptors and are thickened by those hormones. After menopause, these hormone levels drop, and the tissue thins and weakens. In addition, the muscles around the pelvis may lose tone with aging, a process known as pelvic relaxation.
That said, the SWAN research indicates that urinary incontinence is probably more age related than specifically menopause related, says Randolph. With incontinence, people have theorized for a long time that there is an estrogen piece of it, because there is an estrogen receptor in the base of the bladder and urethra, he notes. But, in general, that doesnt seem to be a huge, directly associated feature.
To prevent urinary incontinence, empty your bladder as often as possible. And do Kegel exercises, contracting and relaxing the muscles of the pelvic floor. The key to proper Kegels is to work the subtle muscles controlling the stream of urine, rather than the butt muscles. Hold each contraction for two to three seconds, building up to five sets of 10 repetitions per day, according to NAMS. If problems persist, talk to your doctor or seek a physical therapist with expertise in working the pelvic floor.
Additional reporting by Meryl Davids Landau
Hrt And Surgical Menopause
So what is surgical menopause? Its menopause that develops suddenly after the ovaries the main producers of the hormone estrogen are surgically removed.
The removal of the ovaries is called an oophorectomy. The procedure is often combined with a hysterectomy removal of the uterus but not always. And in fact, women who only have their uterus removed will not go into surgical menopause. Their ovaries are still making estrogen. Theyll go into menopause naturally when they get older, although sometimes a bit earlier than usual.
Estrogen plays a key role throughout the body. It affects the brain, the bones, the skin, the heart, the blood vessels, and more. While estrogen levels lower gradually during natural menopause, they plummet with surgical menopause. That sudden drop in estrogen can lead to menopausal symptoms that can be quite severe.
Hormone therapy after surgery either with estrogen and progestin or with estrogen alone is a way to counteract the supply of estrogen youve lost. Women who have both the uterus and ovaries removed usually just get estrogen replacement therapy alone. But women who have only the ovaries removed need both estrogen and progestin. Thats because estrogen alone can increase the risk of cancer in the uterus. Adding progestin removes this risk.
Rarely, if ever, will both ovaries be removed without the uterus. Often, only one ovary may be removed, which will negate the need for HRT at the time of surgery,
How Much Estrogen Should You Have During Menopause
The experience of menopause can be different for every woman. Although many women will suffer the same symptoms, such as vaginal dryness, itchy skin, digestive problems, and depression, the extent and severity of the symptoms will often vary.
Most menopause symptoms are caused by hormonal imbalances in the body. Hormones help to regulate many of the body’s functions. One hormone that is affected during menopause is estrogen. Estrogen helps to regulate the menstrual cycle and fluid and salt retention. The extent and severity of your individual menopause symptoms can depend on how greatly your estrogen levels fluctuate during menopause, but many women wonder if there is an ideallevel of estrogenfor which they should aim. Continue reading to find out more about estrogen levels during menopause.
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How Long Can Post Menopausal Women Use Hormones
Are you post menopausal and suffering from unbearable hot flashes or mood swings? Treatments for symptoms are available. Hormone replacement therapy helps to the body replace hormones it no longer produces.
But HRT has been controversial for many years. How long can post menopausal women safely take them to reduce their symptoms?
Read further for information on the latest findings.
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Breast Cancer And Hrt
Women over 50 years of age who use combined oestrogen and progestogen replacement for less than five years have little or no increased risk of breast cancer. Women who use combined HRT for more than five years have a slightly increased risk. Women on oestrogen alone have no increased risk up to 15 years of usage.
There is no evidence to suggest that a woman with a family history of breast cancer will have an added increased risk of developing breast cancer if she uses HRT. The risk with combined oestrogen and progestogen is greater than with oestrogen alone, or with newer HRT agents such as tibolone , and may also depend on the type of progestogen used. Studies suggest that medroxyprogesterone acetate and norethisterone have higher risks than dydrogesterone and progesterone.
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Taking Estrogen With A Progestin Vs Estrogen Alone
Treating menopausal symptoms with estrogen and progestin together is known as estrogen-progestin therapy or combined hormone therapy. Although estrogen alone improves the symptoms of menopause, it increases the risk of cancer of the uterus . Adding a progestin to the estrogen lowers the risk of endometrial cancer back to normal. Because of this, EPT is given to women who still have a uterus . EPT can be given 2 ways:
- Continuous EPT means the same dose of estrogen and progestin is taken each day. Women often prefer continuous EPT because it rarely leads to menstrual-like bleeding.
- Sequential EPT means different amounts of each hormone are taken on specific days. There are different ways to do this. For example, estrogen can be taken by itself for 14 days, then estrogen plus progestin for 11 days, then neither hormone for 3 to 5 days. Other schedules involve taking progestin only every few months. This lowers the amount of progestin that you are exposed to. Monthly regimens are also thought to result in hormone levels that are more like the natural menstrual cycle. Cyclical EPT can produce bleeding like a menstrual period, but it can occur less often than monthly.
Estrogen Side Effects And Risks
Hormone therapy is not without its risks. In fact, hormone therapy is not used as widely as it once was because research began revealing complications with long-term use, such as cancer and heart risks.
However, thanks to these studies, doctors and medical researchers have a better understanding of who will benefit most from estrogen therapy and who should try other treatments.
The risk factors and side effects associated with estrogen use include:
- Blood clots: Estrogen increases your risk of blood clots, which can cause stroke, heart attack, and even death.
- Cancer: Estrogen may increase your risk of certain cancers, specifically breast cancer. Talk with your doctor about your personal health history, your family history, and your risk of breast cancer.
- Birth defects: If youre using estrogen or hormone therapy and become pregnant, your pregnancy may end prematurely. If youre able to carry a pregnancy to full term, birth defects are common for babies born to women using estrogen.
- Dense breast tissue: Women who take estrogen may develop dense breast tissue. Dense tissue makes reading mammograms harder, so detecting breast cancer in its early stages may be difficult.
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Do Estrogen Levels Fall At Menopause
Yes. Estrogen levels fall at menopause. This is a natural transition for all women between ages 40 and 55. The decline in estrogen can happen abruptly in younger women whose ovaries are removed, resulting in so-called surgical menopause.
Perimenopause is the period of transition before menopause. The first natural decline in estrogen levels starts during this phase. Other physiological changes also start. Women going through perimenopause may experience weight gain along with other menopause symptoms. For instance, there may be irregular menstrual periods, hot flashes, and vaginal dryness.
On average, menopause occurs at age 51. When it does, a woman’s body produces less estrogen and progesterone. The drop of estrogen levels at menopause can cause uncomfortable symptoms, including:
Some women experience moodiness. That may or may not be related to the loss of estrogen. Lower levels of estrogen may also increase a woman’s risk for heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis and fractures.
Symptoms Of Low Estrogen
Hot flashes, flushes, and night sweats are the most common symptoms of low estrogen. At times, blood rushes to your skins surface. This can give you a feeling of warmth . Your face may look flushed. Hot flashes while you are sleeping are called night sweats.
Mood swings are another effect of low estrogen. You may feel sad, anxious, or frustrated. Shifting hormone levels and night sweats may disrupt your sleep. This can cause fatigue, which may make mood swings worse.
Thinning tissues may cause discomfort. Skin may appear more wrinkled. Thinning in the urinary tract may lead to bladder infections. You may also have an urgent need to urinate. Or you may lose bladder control . Thinning of the vagina may cause dryness and painful sex.
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Cardiovascular Disease And Hrt
Women over 60 have a small increased risk of developing heart disease or stroke on combined oral HRT. Although the increase in risk is small, it needs to be considered when starting HRT, as the risk occurs early in treatment and persists with time.
Oestrogen used on its own increases the risk of stroke further if taken in tablet form, but not if using a skin patch. Similarly, tibolone increases the risk of stroke in women from their mid-60s.
Women who commence HRT around the typical time of menopause have lower risks of cardiovascular disease than women aged 60 or more.
Why Do Estrogen Levels Rise
During puberty, it’s normal for levels of estrogen to rise. Thatâs because this hormone fuels changes in a young girl’s body. For example, it plays a role in the development of breasts, a more mature curved figure, fuller hips, and pubic and underarm hair.
In addition, high levels of estrogen are seen in women who are extremely overweight. Estrogen levels rise during a healthy pregnancy, and increased estrogen levels may be seen with tumors of the ovaries, testes, or adrenal glands.
Some drugs, such as steroid medications, ampicillin, estrogen-containing drugs, phenothiazines, and tetracyclines can increase estrogen levels.
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Keeping Or Restoring Strong Healthy Bones
Osteoporosisthinning of the bone tissueis common, particularly among Caucasian women, after menopause. The cause is not an inadequate calcium intake, ordinarily. The problem is abnormally rapid calcium loss, aggravated by the following five calcium wasters:
Why Fat Migrates To A Womans Midsection Midlife
Part of the reason for this increased risk of abdominal fat is the loss of estrogen, which shifts fat from the hips to the midsection. Women close to menopause who experience sleep problems, night sweats, and mood issues may find that these symptoms interfere with eating a healthy diet or exercising.
Cutting back on calories can help counter increased weight after menopause. Other helpful tips include adding more vigorous exercises to your routine, eating your biggest meal at noon, not snacking too often, and doing stress-reducing activities like mindfulness meditation or yoga to eliminate the need for that mood-mellowing pint of ice cream.
Your Action Steps For Preventing Estrogen Dominance:
In my next few blog posts in this series on estrogen dominance, Iâll be giving simple powerful steps you can take to help your body keep estrogen and progesterone in balance.
Hereâs an overview of how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together. Your action steps are to
- Eat right
- Avoid the worst hormone-disrupting chemicals
- Move enough & breathe deeply
- ADDRESS THE ROOT CAUSE
Bonus Tip: Include some broccoli sprouts in your diet each day, they have special micronutrients that support estrogen detoxification.
Watch for a blog coming soon on the most important hormone-disrupting chemicals to avoid & where youâll find them.
Move! If youâre sitting, try to get up and move your arms and legs around and take some deep breaths every 30 minutes Try walking or bouncing on a rebounder a few minutes a day.
Get to the root cause! Make sure your hormones donât drop too low by supporting them with HRT or customized herbal remedies. Thereâs simply no substitute for something powerful enough to support your body in keeping your hormone levels, including progesterone, high enough.
No hormonal care plan is complete without this hormonal support componenent. If youâre interested in using herbal remedies for this part of your hormonal care plan, they must be customized to your body and change with your hormones over time.
Learn more with the free resources below.
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Balance Your Hormones With Whole Health Jc
If you are experiencing negative symptoms from a hormone imbalance, look no further than Whole Health JC. Our clinic offers Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy treatment options for both men and women. Through a simple lab test, we can assess your hormone levels and create a BHRT treatment that fits your individual needs! Contact us at 573-893-5500.
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Do All Menopausal Women Experience A Decrease In Sexual Desire
Not all women experience a decreased sexual desire. In some cases, its just the opposite. This could be because theres no longer any fear of getting pregnant. For many women, this allows them to enjoy sex without worrying about family planning.
However, it is still important to use protection during sex if not in a monogamous relationship. Once your doctor makes the diagnosis of menopause, you can no longer become pregnant. However, when you are in the menopause transition , you can still become pregnant. You also need to protect yourself from sexually transmitted infections . You can get an STI at any time in your life.
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Tests To Determine Menopausal Status
In the midst and even in the aftermath of treatment for breast cancer, it can be difficult to tell whether youve gone into menopause for good. For instance, maybe your periods stopped during chemotherapy but still havent returned a few months after finishing treatment. The younger you are, the better the odds are that they will return.
Knowing for sure whether or not youre permanently in menopause is likely to matter most to you if you still want to have biological children. However, you may simply be curious about where you stand.
Your doctor may use the following blood tests to help you gauge this:
These blood tests are not the final answer to whether or not you are in menopause, however. Even if you have postmenopausal levels of FSH and estradiol, these levels can change over time. The longer you go without a menstrual period, and the longer that repeat testing suggests you are menopausal, the more likely it is that you are in this stage of life for good.
You may encounter other menopause tests that you can do at home, on your own, using urine or saliva. However, these tests arent considered reliable. If youre interested in testing, be sure to discuss it with your doctor.
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Myth #: Menopause Gives You Weak Bones
Menopause and excessive bone loss do not have to go hand in hand. According to Womens Health Network bone expert Susan E. Brown, PhD On average, a woman loses 10% of her bone mass during the menopause transition an entirely normal part of the bone breakdown and build up process. After we reach our peak bone mass at age 30, we naturally experience more breaking down than building up. While most women have enough bone mass to handle this loss just fine, added risk factors like poor diet, family history and lifestyle can lead to excessive bone loss of up to 20%.
Dr. Brown also points out there are plenty of factors you can control to prevent excessive bone loss in perimenopause and menopause, including getting enough of the proper nutrients, managing extreme hormonal fluctuations, developing a bone-strengthening exercise program and reducing stress.
Estrogen Progesterone And Menopause
Dr. Jocelyn Craparo gives a complete overview of the functions of estrogen and progesterone. This is important background in understanding the changes that come with menopause and some of the therapies directed at their treatment. Beverly Vaughn, MD, Medical Coordinator, Menopause and You Program
The female hormones estrogen and progesterone are crucial components of a womans health. Not only do they contribute to a womans menstrual cycle and ability to bear children, but they have an impact on other areas of the body. As most women know, menopausewhen the body no longer produces estrogenintroduces physiological changes. In this article, we want to inform you about the role of estrogen and progesterone in menopause.
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