Learning The Main Causes Of PFD In Menopausal Women

Medical experts have long accepted menopause, along with pregnancy and childbirth, as one of the primary reasons for the occurrence of pelvic floor disorders (PFD), particularly stress urinary incontinence (SUI), the most common form of PFD. SUI is foreseen to be experienced by more than 40 percent of women in the menopausal stage and by the time they reach 80 years of age, the risk of surgery will be 20 percent.

 

Reasons for this occurrence are presented below to allow women to gain an understanding and hopefully help them in addressing these life-altering conditions:

 

Weak Pelvic Floor Muscles

Just like the rest of the muscles in the body, the pelvic floor muscles also start to weaken and lose mass as one gets older. Studies have shown that muscle strength deteriorates by five percent every decade after the age of 30. This ageing process is also closely tied with menopause with women experiencing this stage between the ages of 45 and 55 years.

 

Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and stress urinary incontinence (SUI) may result when the pelvic floor muscles lose strength since it may not be able to support pelvic organs such as the bladder and bowel causing these to descend or drop from their normal positions towards the vaginal wall.

 

Bladder Becomes Less Elastic

As a woman ages, the bladder may also become less elastic, just like the weakening of the muscles. This loss of elasticity may irritate the bladder making it difficult to stretch causing the muscles of the bladder to be overactive. Stress incontinence or frequent urination may result which is made worse by the weakening of the pelvic floor muscles.

 

Vaginal Dryness

Menopause has been associated with the loss of the hormone estrogen. Once the level of estrogen drops, vaginal dryness in the vaginal lining and urethra may be experienced by the woman. The onset of incontinence and other pelvic disorders such as urinary tract infections may be hastened with this dryness.

 

Gain in Weight

Women start gaining weight as they grow older, even before the onset of menopause. Due to several other factors, this weight gain becomes more pronounced as women enter the menopausal stage.

 

Any additional weight may tend to put a strain on the pelvic floor muscles which may result to the weakening of these muscles. The muscles may not be able to support the bladder and bowel leading to incontinence once this happens.

 

While the menopausal stage in a woman’s life may be considered an inevitable, this does not mean that one has to live with these disorders. There are many things a woman may do to prevent or manage these conditions without undergoing invasive treatments, as proven by clinical trials. In addressing these problems, behavioral and lifestyle changes have been shown to be very effective, even allowing women to maintain a positive quality of life.

 

With these conservative measures, it is hoped that a woman suffering from POP or SUI may not have to undergo a surgical procedure for treatment. In light of the controversy surrounding vaginal mesh surgeries, this surgical option may only put unnecessary risks to women. These procedures, which have become very common recommendations among doctors, have caused severe complications resulting to serious injuries.

 

This pain and suffering experienced by these victims have compelled them to take legal remedies such as filing of vaginal mesh lawsuits. Lawsuits have already been scheduled with some already decided by juries, with one case in the news lately with the upholding of the $2 million verdict given by the jury.

 

References:

continence.org.au

nursingtimes.net

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