Two in five women deal with urogynecological concerns and issues in menopause. Menopause, a natural and a very obvious biological transition in a woman’s life, raises a multiple of physiological changes. Out of several health problems, urogynecological health issues stand out the most. Menopause can cause a decline in estrogen levels and tissue strength which can further lead to urogynecological problems like urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, and even dryness of vagina. These problems altogether can lead to a women’s low quality of life including a lot of stress, discomfort and uneasiness. Embarrassment is another issue to deal with it. Understanding the impact of these issues can help a person offer women the care and love they need in order to pass through the stage comfortably.
Avoiding urogynecological issues can have a long-term impact on a woman’s mental health, physical health and self-esteem. Acknowledging these issues is important for having a balance in physical and emotional health. Neglecting urogynecological problems can cause complications and negatively influence a woman’s daily activities and relationships. By identifying the importance of early intervention, medical professionals and women can together discuss and come around to mitigate the adverse effects of urogynecological problems when the menopause is going and even after that while assuring a good quality life for her.
Understanding Urogynecological Concerns in Menopause
Some of the most common urogynecological problems include:
- Urinary incontinence: Menopause can weaken the bladder muscles and the muscles around pelvic floor in women. This can further cause unwanted bladder contractions with strong urge to pass urine and sometimes leakage of urine before reaching the washroom (Urge Incontinence) and/ or urinary leakage at the time of rise in intra-abdominal pressure like on laughing, dancing, jumping or on lifting heavy weight (Stress Incontinence).
- Vaginal atrophy: The reduction in estrogen levels during this phase can come out as vaginal atrophy combined with vaginal dryness as well as thinning of the vaginal walls and uneasiness during sexual intercourse. The local protective mechanism also get compromised leading to recurrent vaginal and urinary tract infections.
- Pelvic organ prolapse: Downward descending of pelvic organs like bladder, uterus or rectum can be an outcome of weak pelvic muscles which can show symptoms like a bulging sensation or bladder and bowel emptying issues. Sometimes patients need to reposit back these bulging organs to evacute them completely.
Urogynecological Concerns in Menopause – Additional Causes & Symptoms
- Decreased estrogen levels and loss of pelvic muscle tone are two of the most common causes of these concerns. They can together cause leaking of urine during any physical activity as well as an uncontrollable urge to urinate more often.
- A drop in the estrogen levels can also cause vaginal atrophy, causing symptoms like dryness of the vagina, itchiness, burning sensation, pain during intercourse and a higher exposure to urinary tract infection.
- Multiple factors like childbirth, obesity and hormonal changes during menopause can cause pelvic organ prolapse. Some of the symptoms include a bulging sensation, urinary or faecal incontinence or feeling of incomplete evacuation of bladder and bowel and uneasiness in the pelvic area.
Having knowledge and awareness about these issues in menopause is important for managing the problems effectively. It empowers a women to counter these problems properly and improve the overall quality of life during this stage of life.
Solutions for Urogynecological Concerns in Menopause
There are three major and most common solutions for urogynecological concerns.
- The first solution is to simply implement lifestyle changes and indulge in self-care. Bring positive habits in your life and adapt a holistic routine. Have a balanced diet along with proper exercise everyday while ensuring you receive hydration too. All of this can together help you fight bowel problems, prevent constipation, limit strains on pelvic muscles and more. Practice pelvic floor exercises as well. Kegel exercises can enhance bowel and bladder control. Regular practise of these exercises can show symptoms of incontinence as well as pelvic organ prolapse.
- Another solution to this problem opting for non surgical medical interventions. What are they? Well, taking medications for relief or hormone replace therapy can be the two best options here. Through these procedures, an elimination of vaginal dryness and discomfort is made along with a reduced level of health risks or concerns. Apart from that, medicines like bladder relaxant can be prescribed by an expert medical professional to decrease the frequency levels of urination gradually. Even regular menopause medication can help a lot.
- Last solution for urogynecological concerns is going for surgical options. Procedures like sacrospinous ligament fixation, sacrocolpopexy and colporrhaphy can help for pelvic organ prolapse issues. Additionally, stress incontinence can be countered with slings or suspension. But it is important to always ensure safety during surgery. Surgical solutions can often open doors for potential risks like infection, bleeding and recurrence of several symptoms. It is important to always make sure that the benefits are more than the risks and then make decisions based on the understanding of the benefits. Individual needs and concerns are always taken into consideration before making the final decision of surgery.
Overall, there is a wide range of solutions for urogynecological concerns in menopause. From lifestyle changes to great self-care practices, individuals can even reduce the worse signs of menopause like discomfort and imbalance in mood levels. But the choice must be made with informed understanding of the problem as well as the solution.
Strategies for Managing Urogynecological Concerns in Menopause
- The topmost strategy to manage the urogynecological problems to its level best is to simply seek professional help. Problems like urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse or any other pelvic floor disorder demands the knowledge of a professional to defend best. Specialists and expert medical professionals are highly trained to diagnose these issues and offer a tailored solutions to the individuals dealing with the same.
An accurate diagnosis is received after consulting a professional as well as the information about treatment options. A detailed assessment like pelvic exams, medical history reviews and tests for diagnosis can be done to conclude underlying causes. This early step is important to eliminate further gradual degradation of the health of an individual.
- Another strategy is to receive emotional and psychological support. Feelings of embarrassment, frustration and irritation can become quite common in individuals dealing with these issues. It is important to go for counselling or join support groups and acknowledge the issue well. Coping can become easier with these steps.
Menopause treatment where urogynecological concerns are very high need expert help and proper guidance. Additionally, menopause symptoms can indicate much more than what is being assumed. It can indicate towards an underlying cause or issue. With consultation, strategies and solutions, individuals can counter these problems with ease.
Overall, managing urogynecological concerns is a multifaceted road that needs a comprehensive approach. Seeking professional help is the first and the best step of all. It creates room for accurate diagnosis and customised treatment plans. Reaching out to an expert medical professional before the cause grows on a larger level is important for the best state of health after treatment.