During and after the process of menopause, levels of the female hormone estrogen drop significantly. Besides controlling your monthly periods and body changes during pregnancy, estrogen helps keep the bladder and urethra healthy. Lack of estrogen may cause the pelvic muscles responsible for bladder control to weaken, resulting in urinary incontinence.
Some of the bladder control problems that may develop because of menopause include:
- Stress incontinence. Pressure from coughing, sneezing or lifting can push urine through the pelvic muscles weakened from the dropping levels of the female hormone estrogen. This kind of leakage is called stress incontinence. It's one of the most common kinds of bladder control problems in women.
- Urge incontinence. Urge incontinence is another common bladder control problem. With this condition, the bladder muscles squeeze at the wrong time—or all the time—and cause leaks.
- Nocturia. The need to get out of bed to urinate several times a night.