Changes in your Bowels and Bladder During Menopause

Changes in your Bowels and Bladder During Menopause - MyElle

Here are some insights on menopause's therapies and facts, assisting women searching for information about menopause, bladder, and bowel control.

Menopause describes the changes in a woman's life, causing several physical and psychological problems. In this post, we'll look at a few of the issues facing newcomers to menopause, as well as the changes in your bowels and bladder during menopause. 


Menopause and Incontinence

Common symptoms of urinary incontinence include the following.

  • Sneezing, coughing, or exercising results in a leakage of urine.
  • When you cannot control your bladder resulting in leakage of urine.
  • Awaking in the middle of the night more than once.
  • Frequent urinary tract infections.
  • Rushing to the toilet, strong contractions to open bowels.
  • Inability to control flatulence.
  • Constipation.

Please don't ignore these symptoms because they rarely go away by themselves. It's essential that you seek help because these problems can be cured, treated, or better managed by a medical professional.



Menopause, Bladder, and Bowel Movements

There are several ways menopause may cause bladder and bowel control issues; the list is as follows:


  1. Weakened pelvic floor muscles
  • With the onset of menopause, the reduction in collagen causes weakening in the pelvic floor muscles.
  • This network of muscles controls both the bladder and bowels.
  • Weakened pelvic floor muscles may cause women to have difficulty controlling the passage of wind. 
  • The weak muscle structure may lead to the onset of prolapse, causing a bulge in the vagina.


  1. A less elastic bladder
  • The base of the bladder loses its elasticity as we age. Therefore it has more difficulty in stretching during menopause.
  • As the bladder fills with urine, it may irritate the bladder muscles causing it to be 'overactive' due to the loss of elasticity.
  • An 'overactive 'bladder results in frequent urination.
  • Combined with weakened pelvic floor muscles, this makes it challenging to fight off the urge to urinate.
  • Pelvic floor muscle exercises like Kegels, and the use of vaginal repair cream, will help regain control of your bladder.


  1. Vaginal Dryness
  • Vaginal dryness starts due to changes in the production of the hormone estrogen. 
  • The reduction in this critical female hormone results in a lack of mucus on the vaginal walls' produced by the Bartholin's glands.
  • This mucus is essential to reduce friction and pain during intercourse.
  • Estrogen cream or pessary prescriptions can help to prevent further urinary infections.
  • Personal hygiene is especially important to all women, and the method used for wiping should be from front to back.
  • Drinking cranberry juice or extract capsules may help and assist in preventing urinary tract infections.


  1. Weight Gain
  • Many women find that weight gain is another unwanted sign of menopause. 
  • Significant weight gain can develop bladder and bowel control problems.
  • The Pelvic floor muscle supports the majority of the body weight in the core muscles, leading to cramping and pain
  • Weakened pelvic floor muscles will not support the bladder and bowel due to it being weak.
  • It's vital to maintain healthy body weight.



  1. Existing Conditions and other health issues
  • Other chronic health issues may start to play a part in your health, and these may or worsen urinary incontinence.
  • Diabetes is a chronic blood glucose disorder affecting a large segment of the American population.
  • Women with diabetes are at higher risk of nerve damage resulting in painful and disabling cramps or spasms in the vaginal walls.
  • Maintaining your diabetes is the best way to assist in preventing nerve damage and protect your health in your senior years.



  1. Hysterectomy
  • Many women around menopause might experience hysterectomy or prolapse repair and, in the interim, find out they have a problem with bladder control.
  • Pelvic floor exercises are a vital part of your treatment program before and after surgery.



  1. Anal Trauma and Surgery
  • Some women who have previously had children may find problems with their bowel during the onset of menopause.
  • The anal sphincter, the muscle around the anus, can be damaged during birth but can later lead to a problem with flatulence and fecal incontinence.
  • You can fix the problem by an exercise program called the pelvic floor muscle, but some women might need surgery to repair the damage.



There are four things you can do to regain control of your bladder or bowel.


  1. Eat well
  • By eating a well balanced and healthy rich in dietary fiber would assist and prevent constipation.
  • You would need at least 30gm of fiber every day accompanied by 2-3 serving of fruit, five servings of different vegetables, and five servings of cereals or bread.
  • If you eat healthily and have constipation, the next step is to consult with your doctor.


  1. Drink well
  • Depending on your body weight, the amount of fluids to intake is just under a half-gallon of water each day. This level of hydration aids in the prevention of bladder irritation and constipation.
  • Drinking plenty of water also helps to limit the onset of urinary tract infections. 
  • Increase your fluid intake when exercising and spread your drinks evenly.
  • Limit the intake of caffeine, alcohol, and fizzy drinks as these can cause bladder irritation.



  1. Exercise regularly

Aim to exercise for 45 minutes a day.

Remember walking is excellent exercise.

You can also tone your pelvic muscle by using the following.

  • Pelvic toning devices help improve bladder control, activating different muscle groups, tightening your vagina.
  • The Pelvic floor toning device consists of red light therapy devices, Kegel balls, or vaginal cones to recondition the pelvic floor and reduce the effects of vaginal atrophy.

These exercises strengthen your muscles around your bladder, anus, and vagina to aid in controlling your bowel. Be careful not to overdo it, pause, and take a break between each squeeze.


  1. Practice good toilet habits
  • Visit the toilet when your bladder feels full.
  • When you do use the bathroom take time to empty your bladder and bowel.
  • The bathroom's correct sitting position is to ensure you sit on the toilet with elbows on knees. Lean forward, supporting your feet on a footstool.
  • Incomplete bladder emptying can result in the frequent use of the bathrooms.

If you're thinking your bladder isn't emptying, talk to your physician before the situation deteriorates.

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