In this short video menopause expert, Dr Shahzadi Harper of the Harper Clinic in London explains how bladder leakage can affect women during the menopause and peri menopause.
Some of her key take outs include….
On Bladder Leakage…
“I would say that seven women out of ten that I see are affected in some way by bladder leakage. I would even go as far as to say almost all women will admit to some form of incontinence, but then I do ask them specifically whereas other doctors may not ask. Women are much more aware of stress bladder leakage incontinence, which is when they are coughing, sneezing, laughing or jumping as this can cause bladder leakage.”
On Urgency Incontinence
“Many of the women I see are probably less aware of what, as a doctor, I would call urgency incontinence. It’s that feeling of sitting in a meeting and being desperate to go to the loo. Often a woman just can’t get away from the fact she needs to go. Many women will say they have to get up in the night and go to the toilet but perhaps this never used to be an issue for them or they recognise they need to go to the toilet more frequently throughout the day or when they are out for dinner or meeting friends. The reason for urgency incontinence is often linked to the menopause. This can often be due to hormonal fluctuations particularly changing levels of the hormone oestrogen, which is responsible for maintaining the elasticity of muscles, including the pelvic floor. So when levels of oestrogen drop during the menopause transition so does that elasticity which in turn reduces the support for the bladder and causes the sensitive nerve endings at the base of the bladder to send signals to our brain more frequently to say that we need to go to the toilet.”
On Pelvic Floor Exercises
“Women are told by their doctors to ‘do their pelvic floor exercises’ and are given a sheet to go away and practice at home. They rarely get access to a Pelvic floor physiotherapist which can help tremendously. Pelvic floor exercises are harder than you think, and women can often find difficulty in recognising the right muscles. Many women will go off and buy incontinence pads because they are unaware what else they can do to help bladder leakage. There is a misconception amongst women that if they have had a Caesarean section or have not had children then their pelvic floor is going to remain supported and not lose elasticity. While they may be less at risk, the effects of the menopause, chronic coughing or constipation can still cause problems.”
“Incontinence (bladder leakage) makes women feel less feminine and sexual.”
“I think Pelviva is truly innovative. I like the fact that you don’t have to think too much about what you are doing, and it just targets pelvic floor muscles directly. I’ve tried Pelviva myself. I felt the difference after using just three. I could feel my Pelvic floor was stronger.”