Women’s Most Common Urology Issues Facing 50’s
The remodeling and rejuvenation capacity of the body suffers a great deal with advancing age. Needless to say that slowing regeneration of tissues and immune mediated changes can greatly compromise the overall health and wellness in individuals. Experts and healthcare professionals regard 50 years as a big milestone in aging females. This is mainly because, more than 70-95% females achieve menopause in their 50’s.
Most common urological issues in females during 50’s
Most urological conditions in aging women are attributed to decreasing estrogen levels as part of the physiological menopause. During reproductive years, estrogen plays a number of vital functions in the body such as:
- Maintaining vitality and remodeling of tissues
- Maintenance of strength and tone of muscles
- Regulation of vaginal flora
- Regulation of pH of the urinary and genital tracts
After the loss of estrogen balance, the risk of developing several chronic health issues increases; such as cardiovascular ailments, osteoporosis, diabetes, cancer of the genital tract etc.
Following are some common urinary symptoms that demands urgent medical attention:
- Cloudiness of urine
- Burning or painful urination
- Foul smelling urine
- Flank pain or pain along the lower abdomen
- Changes in the urinary stream
Some common urological conditions include:
1. Urge Incontinence:
Incontinence of urine is a fairly common complaint that is reported twice as frequently in females as compared to males after 50 years of age. According to latest statistics, more than 13 million Americans are currently living with urinary incontinence. The primary pathophysiology revolves around decreasing patency and tone of muscle sphincters; resulting in leakage of urine.
Some risk factors that are worth considering in the setting of urge incontinence are; history of multiple gestations, vaginal or instrumental deliveries, existing malignancy of bladder or other parts of urinary system etc.
2. Stress Incontinence:
Stress incontinence refers to dribbling or leakage of urine when intra-abdominal pressure increases suddenly (such as while laughing, coughing or sneezing). It has been observed that the risk profile is similar to urge incontinence. In addition, obese or over-weight females are more likely to experience stress incontinence.
The symptoms of incontinence can be significantly improved by simple lifestyle and diet modification; such as:
- Limiting the intake of caffeine and alcohol
- Maintaining strict avoidance towards acidic foods
Hematuria (also referred to as appearance of blood in the urine) is a troubling symptoms that is suggestive of a number of organic and serious issues such as urinary polyps, vaginal or cervical malignancy, urinary tract infection, renal stone or other related issues of the urinary system.
It is strongly advised to see a healthcare professional at earliest convenience if you develop hematuria or related urological issues.
4. Recurrent attacks of urinary tract infection:
UTI is more common in females after menopause; due to biochemical changes in the pH of vaginal epithelium as a result of menopause. Likewise, women who have chronic metabolic issues like diabetes, obesity etc. are more likely to develop chronic UTI’s. According to latest statistics, approximately 53% females experience at least one serious episode of urinary tract infection during the course of their life. Classic symptoms of UTI include; increase urgency in urination, burning micturition, cloudiness of urine, flank or lower abdominal pain and fever.
Other urinary complaints/ issues that are faced by females during 50’s are:
- Malignancy of urinary system
- Urinary stones
- Interstitial cystitis
- Renal stones
What can women do to improve the functioning of urological system?
There are a number of helpful solutions that aging females can employ in order to maintain optimal health of urinary system; a few are:
- Consider hormone replacement therapy: Most urological issues are a result of loss of protective influence of estrogen. Experts suggest that HRT (hormone replacement therapy) can restore the muscular strength and endurance to the biological tissues and help reverse the effects of menopause.
- Perform kegel exercises: Kegel exercises are designed to promote the strength and stability of pelvic floor muscles. This is especially true for females who underwent several pregnancies, vaginal deliveries or pelvic injuries.
- Reduction in body weight: Certain urological issues are more common in obese females. In all such cases, it is advised to maintain your body weight in recommended limits.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle: Increase the intake of fresh fruits and vegetables in your daily diet, limit caffeine, alcohol and other drugs from your daily routine. It is also very important to quit smoking and other unhealthy habits for long, disease-free survival.
Last but not the least, it is very important to see your primary care professional at regular intervals of time.
2. Bø, K. (2012). Pelvic floor muscle training in treatment of female stress urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse and sexual dysfunction. World journal of urology, 30(4), 437-443.
3. Coyne, K. S., Kvasz, M., Ireland, A. M., Milsom, I., Kopp, Z. S., & Chapple, C. R. (2012). Urinary incontinence and its relationship to mental health and health-related quality of life in men and women in Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. European urology, 61(1), 88-95.