How to Prevent Genital and Urinary Problems During and After Menopause?

Published on Jun 8, 2016

As the level of estrogen in women decreases in perimenopause and menopause, shrinkage and dryness of the vaginal and urinary organs occur. The tissues thin out and the blood flow to the genitalia decreases. These changes can result in genital tissue dryness, burning, irritation, pain with intercourse and urinary difficulty such as urgency, frequency and incomplete emptying. These symptoms affect approximately 50% of women.

The changes in a woman’s body that eventually result in the symptoms mentioned above start long before the actual symptoms present themselves, which is why physicians should be watchful during yearly exams for any early signs. Also, women going through these hormonal changes should be aware of changes in their body and report any symptoms to their physicians.

There are several treatment options and each needs to be personalized based on the current level of discomfort and need. However, prevention is always the best policy.

Early hormonal replacement can prevent these changes from occurring. In our office, we prefer natural hormone therapy as it offers minimal adverse effects and maximal benefits to the affected area. We synthesize the hormones naturally and therefore have control over the dosage and ensure that the chemical structure is similar to the ones naturally produced in a woman’s body.

Non-hormonal options are also available for few patients that do not qualify for hormone therapy. This type of medication increases lubrication and reduce symptoms associated with menopause during use.

Evaluation of the bladder can help your doctor determine the exact nature of the urinary problem that may have gotten worse after menopause. Many options are then available to address these issues before they turn into major problems.

Kegel exercise, modification of diet and fluid intake and weight loss help strengthen the pelvic muscles and improve the function of the genital and urinary organs, keeping you healthy and improve the quality of life during this next stage of life.

Medtronic Bladder Control Therapy for Urinary Incontinence

Published on Mar 15, 2016

“Did you know we can put in a pacemaker for your bladder?”, I asked my 55 year old patient with chronic urinary incontinence. “A pacemaker for my bladder?”, she replied in disbelief.

Many are surprised to hear what we do to help women control their urinary incontinence problems. For the past 15 years, a therapy developed by the Medtronic has helped women control the symptoms of urge and frequency and incomplete bladder emptying. Now, it can also be used for stool incontinence.

Urge incontinence is a condition where a woman has to run to the bathroom frequently and can lose urine on the way. Other symptoms may include multiple episodes of urination at nights, feeling of pressure in the lower abdomen and spontaneous urine loss, even though most times urine loss is associated with desire to urinate. There are many therapies for urge incontinence which involve diet, fluid restriction, medication and pelvic muscle therapy. However, once these fail, the pacemaker becomes one of the viable options that should be considered.

So, yes! After most therapies fail, we do place pacemakers for bladders with great success. Approximately, 60-70% of women that fail the conventional therapy for urge incontinence improve with pacemaker therapy. In order to identify women that are eligible, special testing is performed that help with correct diagnosis and increase the success from the therapy. The procedure is safe and outpatient and for many, including this patient, a “life saver”.