There you are, out with your husband at the latest Broadway show at Dr. Phillips Center. You’re having a wonderful date night. Then it happens: You sneeze and you feel that warm fluid flow down between your legs. Stunned and surprised, you look down and there it is – that big embarrassing wet spot. Date night over. Future engagements in doubt. You’ve just discovered that you are the latest victim of a common but little discussed medical problem: menopausal bladder leakage, or urinary incontinence (UI).
I know, I’ve heard it before. “I thought that was just a one-time occurrence.” But the reality is, over time, the frequency and the unpredictability of leakage has increased. You are afraid to leave the house. You went to your doctor and then to your gynecologist, but the best they have to offer is women’s absorbable underwear or some awkward little device that you have to put inside you – every day, multiple times per day. And still, that does not do the trick. Besides, who feels sexy anymore wearing Depends®?
Urinary Incontinence: More Common Than You Think
Urinary incontinence in women is a far more prevalent problem than is commonly known. A search of the medical literature reveals that UI occurs in anywhere from 7% to 25% of ALL women. Worse, the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology reported that in 2007 more than 33% of all post-menopausal women suffer with UI, and the frequency and severity increases with age. The causes of UI include treatable conditions such as urinary tract infections and dietary intake of items like caffeine and alcohol. There are more severe causes, such as childbirth (traumatic or multiple) or hysterectomy. And then there is one of the most common causes, hormonal imbalance due to menopause.
Despite volumes of medical literature on the subject, few traditional doctors understand the relationship between women’s hormones (estrogen, progesterone and testosterone) and UI. Those hormones have a healthy effect on a woman’s urinary tract and are essential in maintaining the musculature and the physiology essential for normal bladder control. Even fewer doctors know that normalizing a women’s hormone balance may reduce menopause-related UI substantially. So, while neglecting the obvious, conventional medicine handles menopausal UI with pads, absorbent underwear, uncomfortable inserts, pelvic muscle exercises and medications (often with undesirable side effects), which can lead to dangerous and unpredictable surgical procedures that have serious and sometimes disabling side effects. Imagine losing your sexual function and satisfaction at age 51?
New Hope for Women With Urinary Incontinence
The good news is that today there are alternatives. Some post-doctoral medical schools like the University of South Florida and Georgetown University are educating providers in more natural and healthy ways to reverse UI. Simply balancing hormones may reverse UI in 50% or more of post-menopausal women. There is a wonderful new procedure called the O-shot® that uses healing factors from a women’s own blood to heal worn and tired nerves and muscles in the urinary tract to improve UI. And there is a remarkable new device called InTone®, which has been shown to dramatically reverse UI. All in all, when used alone or in combination, these three techniques may relieve more than 80% of all menopausal UI. So, hormone balance in women can be a worry-free option, allowing a greater sense of bladder security and the freedom that comes with healthy bladder control.