During and after the process of menopause, levels of the female hormone estrogen drop significantly. In addition to controlling your monthly periods and body changes during pregnancy, estrogen helps keep the bladder and the urethra, the tube that carries urine out of the body, healthy.
Lack of estrogen may also cause the pelvic muscles responsible for bladder control to weaken, resulting in urinary incontinence.
What Kind of Bladder Control Problems May Develop After Menopause?
Some of the bladder control problems which may develop because of menopause include:
Stress incontinence. Pressure from coughing, sneezing, or lifting can push urine through the weakened muscle. This kind of leakage is called stress incontinence. It is one of the most common kinds of bladder control problems in older women.
Urge incontinence. Urge incontinence is another very common bladder control problem. With this condition, the bladder muscles squeeze at the wrong time -- or all the time -- and cause leaks.
Nocturia. Need to get out of bed to urinate several times a night.