The term peri-menopause is referred to as the period at around mid-40’s (right before changes in hormones begin in true menopause). These variations in hormones may cause subtle physical symptoms such as night sweats and mood swings-as a result of a drop in progesterone levels. During peri-menopause estrogen also begins to fluctuate, resulting in additional physical changes- such as vaginal dryness.
Approximately 2 years before menopause formally begins (with a complete end to menses), estrogen levels drop even further which lends to even more vaginal dryness, a decrease in sex drive and even more of an increased risk of LBL. Most women are around age 49 to 51 at this later stage of peri-menopause.
Physical Therapist and bladder re-training specialist, Christine Make at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak WA, recommends pelvic floor strengthening exercises (commonly referred to as Kegels) 4 days per week for all women approaching peri-menopause-approximately age 45 to 51. Make even recommends regular Kegels as part of a preventative program. Make says that doing regular Kegels, could help prevent minor symptoms of urine leakage brought on by a decrease in hormones as a women age. If you are not into Kegels exercises, try yoga instead. Practicing mula bandha offers toning of pelvic floors. You cannot beat having a total body experience plus an hour of quiet and time to yourself on a yoga mat.
The muscles of the pelvic floor are involved in stopping the flow of urine until you can find a rest room, so pelvic floor strengthening programs such as doing regular Kegels, could help correct, or even prevent minor symptoms of urine leakage brought on by a decrease in hormones as a women age.
Make says it’s not that simple to learn to do the exercises correctly without professional training. She highly recommends both a physician check up to rule out organic causes of LBL, as well as a formal pelvic floor training program by a professional such as herself.
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