Very Bad Things That Can Happen To Your Vagina In Old Age
So this is what you have to look forward to
You’ve likely noticed some of the drawbacks of agingwrinkles, a decreased metabolism, and memory loss, to name a fewbut your vagina doesn’t deal too well with old age, either. In fact, there are a whole host of changes that occur down there, starting in your 40s. While most of the aging-related differences you’ll notice in your lady parts are just simply annoying, others can be serious. Heres the deal:
One age-related condition that can occur down below is prolapse , says Timothy Ryntz, M.D., assistant clinical professor of gynecologic surgery and urogynecology at Columbia University. For women with mild prolapse, Kegel exercises can be helpful. As far as treatments go, that depends on the health of the patientbut one option is having a supportive pessary inserted into the vagina to keep things in place. Another option is surgery, including cystocele repair , rectocele , and hysterectomy , says Alyssa Dweck, M.D., assistant clinical professor in the department of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive science at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and co-author of V is for Vagina.
Bladder Control Problems And The Prostate
The prostate is a gland found only in men. It is about the size of a walnut and is located below the neck of the bladder, surrounding the bladder outlet or urethra. Because the prostate gland is located close to the outlet of the bladder, it is common for problems with the male prostate gland to also affect urinary processes.Urinary problems which start in middle age are often caused by the prostate gland getting larger as a man ages and partially blocking the flow of urine through the urethra as it leaves the bladder. This causes a condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia . Other causes of prostate-related urinary conditions include prostatitis or prostate cancer.
Read more about common prostate conditions
What Can I Do About My Plunging Oestrogen Levels
If you want to slow down some of these changes, hormone replacement therapy can help.
HRT is a treatment which uses oestrogen and progesterone to relieve menopausal symptoms.
It’s widely available on the NHS, unless you have a history of blood clots, liver disease, high blood pressure or breast, ovarian or womb cancer.
If you want to know more, book an appointment with your GP.
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Does Oab Cause Depression
Getting up more than twice a night is common for people with OAB. That means that people who experience OAB often dont get enough sleep, which in turn can lead to depression.
People with OAB often feel embarrassed by their condition. Feelings of shame and isolating yourself to hide your condition can contribute to feelings of depression and loneliness.
Your doctor can prescribe medicines to help control your bladder muscles. There are also surgeries for OAB in which tissue is connected from one side of the abdomen to the other to support the bladder.
You can manage, improve, and maybe control your OAB with some lifestyle strategies. For example:
- Strengthen pelvic muscles with exercise.
- Keep a diary of how often you visit the bathroom. This can help you determine which factors help or hurt your OAB.
- Reduce daily consumption of alcoholic and caffeinated beverages.
- Put yourself on bathroom schedule. Visit the bathroom hourly, or more often, without fail. This keeps your bladder from being too full.
What Do We Mean By Small Bladder
Firstly, lets clear up the confusion between having a small bladder and an overactive bladder. Anatomically, its highly unlikely anyone has a small bladder. Our internal organs dont tend to differ from one person to the next.
However, it is possible to have a functionally small bladder, which means your bladder, for any number of reasons, cant hold a lot of urine. Bladder muscles and/or the bladder sphincter muscles become overactive and as a result there is a constant need to void.
Thats why when some people say they have a small bladder, what theyre really suggesting is they have an overactive bladder.
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There Will Be Penis Shrinkage
No, not the out-of-the-pool constriction we all know. There is a progressive loss of size as you age.
What does that equation look like? Normal skin cells, once hale and hearty, get replaced by non-elastic fibers, which just sort of reel in the whole apparatus.
Want to make it worse? Keep building up that beer gut. As your belly gets bigger, the fat pad pushes out and a larger penile percentage gets buried under the skin. Gain weight, loose length. Simple math.
For every 30 pounds you shed, you add an effective half-inch in length, says Dr. Steixner. Discover the best ways for men over 50 to lose weight. And it’s probably worth trying the peak-performance for your penis diet now, too.
How Do Age And Gender Affect Oab
OAB is more common in women over age 40 because the muscles controlling urination weaken over time. Factors contributing to weakened muscles include the physical pressure of pregnancy and childbirth.
Some people have a genetic predisposition to OAB. Urinary incontinence sometimes runs in families. Additionally, men who develop OAB should have a prostate exam to determine whether or not the urinary tract is constricted.
If you think you have OAB, its important to see a doctor to rule out other conditions that can be mistaken for OAB. Other conditions that can have symptoms similar to OAB include:
- urinary tract infections , including infections of the kidneys and the bladder
- pressure from an enlarged prostate
Both of these conditions require treatment.
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And The Parts That Keep On Growing
NOSE AND EARS: Our ears grow by an average of 0.22 mm a year.
The inner part of the ear lobe remains the same size, but most ears become steadily longer.
The traditional explanation has been they are made up cartilage, which continues to grow after bones.
However, gravity is another factor. Cartilage, like skin, becomes thinner and loses its elasticity as we age, with collagen and elastin fibres breaking down.
This allows skin to stretch and sag, the tip of the nose to lengthen droop, and the ears to stretch down.
FEET: Our feet become longer and wider with age, as the tendons and ligaments which link the many tiny bones lose elasticity.
Podiatrists estimate that the over-40s can gain as much as one shoe size every ten years.
Richard Handford of the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists says the tiny joints between the toe bones deteriorate, allowing the toes to spread out, and the arch of the foot to flatten.
The protective fat pads on the heels and balls of the feet also flatten through wear and tear.
He advises wearing a good pair of running shoes as often as you can, to support the feet.
Bladder Problems In Aging Women
Bladder problems in women occur post-menopause due to reduction in oestrogen levels and also post-birth as a result of pregnancy.
Urinary tract infection : In the postmenopausal stage of life, women are susceptible to UTIs because of reduction in the hormone estrogen, as a result the unhealthy bacteria such as E.Coli grow in the tract and number of healthy bacteria like lactobacilli drop. Dehydration, a weakened immune system, kidney problems, immobilization, and catheterization are other factors that lead to UTIs.
Urinary incontinence: Excess weight, aging, pregnancy, childbirth, and the number of children a woman has are the main factors associated with urinary incontinence.
Researches have shown that urinary incontinence while linked to aging, can also be associated with pregnancy, delivery and the number of children one has. Studies also show that women can experience incontinence after menopause due to a drop in estrogen hormone levels.
Urinary incontinence come in different forms:
- Stress incontinence
- Overflow incontinence
- Mixed incontinence
Prolapsed bladder: Muscles supporting the bladder weaken with age, causing it to collapse. This is associated with a low production in estrogen hormone levels, responsible for keeping the muscle strong.
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Infections Are Still Common
Roughly 10 percent of postmenopausal women experience a urinary tract infection each year. This rate isnt as high as for younger women, 17 percent of whom report having a UTI every year. But the symptoms among older women can be different.
According to a recent study in Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, older women are more likely to experience strong urges to urinate, leakage, and lower back and abdominal pain. Meanwhile, younger women urinate more frequently and are more likely to feel pain and burning when they do so.
To ward off these painful infections, drink plenty of watersix to eight 8-ounce glasses per dayand wear cotton underwear. Women should wipe from front to back after using the toilet and should empty the bladder after sexual relations.
Fact: Twice A Night Isn’t Right
One bathroom trip during the night may be acceptable, but for two or more — called nocturia — and it’s time for a checkup. To determine if it’s caused by a treatable condition, your doctor will want more information: a bathroom diary, a record of fluids you drank, and a list of medications and known illnesses. Some possible causes include drinking a lot just before bed, an enlarged prostate, underlying medical conditions , certain medications, and overactive bladder.
You Say ‘vagina’ I Say ‘vulva’
- Many of us incorrectly refer to the whole area as the vagina
- But the external parts, including the labia, are actually called the vulva
- “The inside tubular area is the vagina,” said Dr Tan
The vagina and vulva lose thickness and the colour of the vulva can change from pink to a paler or darker hue.
The clitoris can shrink, the labia can loosen, and there may be shrinkage of some tissue, Dr Tan said. The urethral entrance may also start to “pout a little bit and look a little bit fleshy”.
“Like skin anywhere else it becomes thinner and a bit less elastic. That plumpness becomes a bit saggy,” she said.
And just like the hair on our heads, hair down there may become grey.
What Are The Treatments For An Overactive Bladder
Once tests have been done to determine the cause your overactive bladder, your doctor will suggest a solution that will alleviate your symptoms and minimise any side effects. And while the goal is obviously to find a simple, effective solution, it could be one or a combination of treatments including lifestyle changes, medications and/or surgery.
- Bladder Training and Scheduled Voiding This method teaches the bladder to steadily hold urine over time, which can help build a tolerance to the urgency that comes with an overactive bladder.
- Double Voiding This involves urinating twice within a few minutes in between to void any residual urine in the bladder.
- Kegel exercises These are pelvic exercises to help manage urge incontinence in an overactive bladder by helping strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor and urinary sphincter.
- Fluid and Diet Management including:
- maintaining a schedule of the timing and amount of daily fluid intake
- limiting caffeine and acidic drinks such as coffee, cranberry and citrus juices
- limiting alcohol
- eating foods high in fibre, such as flaxseed, or taking fibre supplements.
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Myth: Drinking Less Is Best
Waving off the waiter when they try to refill your glass may help a little. But doctors say a healthy bladder should be able to handle a normal amount of fluid. You might want to think more about what you drink. Caffeine is a bladder stimulant. Consider downsizing that morning cup of joe or skipping the cola.
How Atrophic Uterus Develops
During menopause, the period in a womens life between the ages of 45 and 55 where she has stopped having a monthly menstrual cycle, her ovaries begin to produce less and less estrogen.Estrogens are an essential group of hormones which are responsible for the regulation of reproductive cycles and the development of the female secondary characteristics such as pubic hair and breasts. These hormones also affect the urinary tract, bones, the muscular system, and the cardiovascular system.
In the uterus, estrogen works to thicken the endometrium lining when you begin to ovulate. This strengthens and toughens the uterus in preparation for pregnancy every month. If no eggs are fertilized during this time, the uterine lining sheds and blood and other tissue are expelled from the vagina. This cycle continues over and over again until you finally get pregnant, or up until menopause.
During menopause, the body does not need to maintain its reproductive cycle anymore. So, it gradually reduces the number of eggs released from the ovaries, along with sex hormones such as estrogen, in a stage known as the perimenopause stage.
As your body prepares for actual menopause, where no eggs are produced, and estrogen production has declined significantly, the function of your sex organs begins to change or slow down. During this time, self-care and diet become super crucial as nutrient deficiency along with hormone imbalance can lead to the shrinkage of your uterus, causing atrophy.
Fact: It’s Not Always A Prostate Problem
A frequent need to go can be caused by an enlarged prostate, but it can also be caused by an overactive bladder . The conditions have similar symptoms, but the causes and treatments are different. An enlarged prostate puts pressure on your urethra, OAB is a muscle control problem. Talk to your doctor about your symptoms and find out testing you may need.
What Happens After My Exam
Your images will be reviewed by a specialized radiologist who will compile a report that is sent to your doctor within 24 hours, sooner for urgent requests. Mayfair Diagnostics is owned and operated by over 50 radiologists who are fellowship-trained in many key areas, such as body, cardiac, and musculoskeletal imaging, etc. This allows for an expert review of your imaging by the applicably trained radiologist.
Your images will be uploaded to a provincial picture archiving and communication system this technology provides electronic storage and convenient access to your medical images from multiple sources, such as your doctor, specialists, hospitals, and walk-in clinics.
Your doctor will review your images and the report from the radiologist and discuss next steps with you, such as a treatment plan or the need for further diagnostic imaging or lab tests to ensure an accurate diagnosis.
Mayfair Diagnostics has 12 locations across Calgary which provide ultrasound services, as well as one in Cochrane and one in Regina. For more information about our clinic locations and services, please visit our clinic location pages, or you can drop by the nearest clinic.
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What Is An Overactive Bladder
An overactive bladder is a condition resulting from the sudden, involuntary contraction of the muscle in the wall of the bladder.
An overactive bladder causes an uncontrollable and unstoppable urge to pass urine and the frequent need to urinate both during the daytime and night, even though the bladder may only contain a small amount of urine. It is sometimes referred to as small bladder syndrome.
The condition affects around 15% of adults , with women affected more frequently than men. The incidence also increases as you get older.
Diagnosing Benign Prostate Enlargement
You might have several different tests to find out if you have an enlarged prostate.
A GP may do some of these tests, such as a urine test, but others might need to be done at a hospital.
Some tests may be needed to rule out other conditions that cause similar symptoms to BPE, such as prostate cancer.
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What Causes Overactive Bladder
An overactive bladder can be caused by several things, or even a combination of causes. Some possible causes can include:
- Weak pelvic muscles: Pregnancy and childbirth can cause your pelvic muscles to stretch and weaken. This can cause the bladder to sag out of its normal position. All of these factors can cause leakage.
- Nerve damage: Sometimes signals are sent to the brain and bladder to empty at the wrong time. Trauma and diseases can cause this to happen. These can include:
- Pelvic or back surgery.
Often, there may be no specific explanation for why this is occurring.
Aging Changes In The Bladder
As you grow in age, your bladder changes and so does its functioning. Here are some of the changes in the bladder as one ages:
- The bladder muscles become weak
- The elastic tissue of the bladder hardens and doesnt remain stretchy as before
- The muscles lining the bladder weakens and loses flexibility. As a result in the loss of strength and flexibility, you bladder may not empty completely
- The urethra may get blocked in men due to an enlarged prostate gland and in women due to weakened muscles, causing the bladder or vagina to fall out of position .
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