What is Urinary Incontinence?
Urinary incontinence (leakage) refers to the involuntary loss of urine from the bladder. According to recent reports by the National Institutes of Health, approximately 20 million women experience or have experienced urinary incontinence in the US. It is not uncommon to have fecal incontinence. Contrary to popular belief, incontinence is not a normal part of aging. Fortunately, most of these urinary problems and conditions can be treated.
Some women have problems with the pelvic floor muscles and develop a condition called pelvic floor dysfunction. The pelvic floor is made up of muscles that support the bladder, uterus, and rectum like a hammock. The pelvic floor muscles attach to the pelvic bone and sacrum. PFD can be too much tension (high-tone) in the pelvic floor, very relaxed (low-tone) muscles in the pelvic floor, or a combination of both.
What are hormones?
A hormone is a chemical released by a cell or a gland that sends out a message to affect cells in other parts of the body. We have many hormones in our body, but most women think of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. These are the main hormones that start to decline in the years before menopause. Estradiol is the most potent estrogen in our bodies.
What are the benefits of hormone replacement therapy?
The greatest benefits of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) are seen in naturally menopausal women up to age 60, and in surgically menopausal women. Estrogen is the best treatment for hot flashes, night sweats, and other symptoms of menopause. Also, estrogen administration decreases morbidity and mortality from all cause, coronary artery disease, cancer, and osteoporosis. Estrogen is also associated with a decrease in colon cancer and decreased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Hormones are also used with women in their 30’s and 40’s.
What is bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT)?
BHRT are sometimes described as “natural.” Many of the hormone products on the market are “bioidentical,” meaning the exact molecular structure as those made in the human body, producing the same physiological responses as those with endogenous estradiol. Some of these would include compounded products.