Tag Archives: Poise

Menopause Recap: Good Articles Spinning Around the Web

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717px-Wikipedia_-_taste_the_fruit_of_knowledge

I wonder what Flemish painter Jacob Jordaens would think of the Internet. He painted this picture of Adam and Eve and the Tree of Knowledge back in the 17th century.

Looks sort of like they are spinning the World Wide Web.

That gets me wondering what Eve would think of the Internet.

I bet she would have LOVED it and tempted Adam to spend hours here, too.

What a source of intrigue and information, which brings me to The Great Pause.

These four articles pack plenty of menopausal knowledge. Check ‘em out faster than Eve checked out that enticing red apple.

Poise Menopause Blogger Lori Jo Vest created this Mother of All List of menopause symptoms. Find the article here, and while you’re on the Poise site, check out some of the other articles and personal menopause stories.

On Vibrant Nation, read a post by physician Barb DePree describing a system doctors are now using to track menopause.

Study up on cutting  edge  research on menopause, fat storage, and weight gain by Sylvia Santosa, assistant professor in Concordia University’s Department of Exercise Science .

Last but not least, read Menopause Expert Ellen Dolgen’s insights on dealing with menopause and Stress.

And before you go, let’s all give Eve a Friend for the Ride round of applause for her spunk!

Taste the Fruit of Knowledge

Light Bladder Leakage and Menopause

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Handkerchiefs

A post from Marilyn Suttle, the Light Bladder Leakage blogger at Poise:

So, you’re having night sweats, hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and on top of all that – you leak. Welcome to the transition toward menopause (sometimes called perimenopause.)

Perimenopause is that time in life when your periods diminish and eventually come to a stop. The transition affects every woman differently. Your passage may be smooth sailing, or you may experience any number of symptoms in varying degrees.

Menopause (the permanent end of menstruation and fertility) is typically reached once you experience 12 consecutive months without a menstrual period.

During this transition, a decline in estrogen levels may result in weakening of the pelvic floor muscles that support bladder control, contributing to LBL (light bladder leakage.)

Though not all menopausal women experience LBL, it is common. One in three women experiences it.

We reached out to urologist, Jason Gilleran, MD at Beaumont Women’s Urology Center in Royal Oak, Michigan for his insights on ways to manage LBL during menopause.

“The sooner women address their bladder leakage, the better their results,” Dr. Gilleran said. By changing the habits that contribute to light bladder leakage during menopause, you may sidestep, reverse, or even eliminate those little leaks.

Seek out support

LBL can improve dramatically in some women by strengthening the pelvic floor muscles with Kegel exercises. However, telling a woman to do Kegels without instruction is a lot like sending someone to the gym without telling her how to use the equipment.

Dr. Gilleran recommends pelvic floor therapy as a first course of action. “I refer a lot of young women, who are perimenopausal and noticing early signs, to a pelvic floor physical therapist,” he said, “They can accelerate your ability to do Kegel exercises correctly and get results. They’re not as expensive as some of the other treatments, and there are no harmful side effects.”

If you aren’t getting the kind of support you’d like from your regular physician or gynecologist, be proactive and ask to be referred to someone with special training, like a pelvic floor physical therapist or urogynecologist.

What else can you do to prevent, reverse or eliminate LBL in menopause?

Dr. Gilleran suggests the following:

Stop smoking. Smoking is a contributing factor for bladder leakage during menopause.

Minimize weight gain. Women tend to gain weight during menopause. A noted research study showed that women with an average weight of about 200 pounds who lost 10% of their body weight, had a 70% reduction in leakage.

Treat chronic coughs and allergies. A chronic cough causes ongoing pressure on the pelvic floor and, over time, can weaken it. Get pulmonary issues like persistent coughing and sneezing under control.

Go to the gym. There are many benefits to exercising. It can even improve your mood and outlook. Some patients have told Dr. Gilleran, “I don’t let LBL stop me from exercising. I wear a pad and get on with things.” Others say they don’t want to go to the gym because they’re self-conscious about leaking. “High impact exercise may not be the best thing for the pelvic floor,” Dr. Gilleran said. “Doing core strengthening exercise like Pilates or yoga is better from that stand point.”

Be gentle with yourself

While some factors contributing to LBL are within your control, others are not. “Childbirth or a family history that predisposes you to issues, like prolapse, can contribute to a weakened pelvic floor,” Dr. Gilleran said. “If you’re predisposed then you’re more likely to experience some level of leakage after menopause.”

Remember, you are not alone. One in three women experiences LBL, and there are ways both surgical and non-surgical to manage it.

“Once a woman has gone through menopause completely, LBL is a factor of what has happened to the pelvic floor tissue,” said Dr. Gilleran. “Some women come in with signs that they have changes in their vaginal tissues, while other women’s tissues are still in pre-menopausal shape. After menopause, women, in their mid-50′s or 60′s, who have intact muscles in their pelvic floor, tend to have better results with a pelvic floor physical therapy.”

When women experience bladder leakage and wait too long to see a pelvic floor physical therapist, it’s more likely that muscle loss may have taken place. The earlier you intervene, the better results you’ll have long term.

When to consider surgery

The reason some women are likely to opt for surgery is that they’ve tried conservative treatments, like pelvic floor therapy, and it failed. The surgery for LBL has changed over the years. “It used to be a fairly invasive surgery involving a bladder lift or bladder suspension, which would be done sometimes through a cut in the abdomen,” Dr. Gilleran said, “Now, most everything, is done through three small incisions in the vagina, sometimes only one. The most common type is called a sling surgery.”

The goal of the sling surgery is to place a type of backboard under the urethra. It acts as a mechanism to stabilize the tissues so that with exercise, coughing, and sneezing, the urethra itself doesn’t fall down. “It’s not designed to lift it up like we did in the past, but keep it from falling down,” Dr. Gilleran said, “To better understand it, picture yourself trying to sit down and you have no chair. What we’re doing is putting a chair there.”

Sometimes Dr. Gillleran has patients use a tampon. A tampon can actually act to stabilize, a bit like what a sling does except they use it externally. When women use a tampon and they don’t leak as much, it’s a good sign sling surgery will help them.”

Controversy over hormone replacement

Some women wonder if hormone replacement is the answer to eliminating LBL during menopause. “From a risk/benefit standpoint, it’s not something I use as an everyday practice for LBL alone,” said Dr. Gilleran, “I tend to avoid it because of the concerns with breast cancer, uterine cancer, blood clots, heart attack, and stroke – those things that have been associated with it. Hormone replacement is a very controversial issue.”

You are not alone

Dealing with menopause can be challenging, especially when it includes light bladder leakage.

If you find yourself feeling down, resist the urge to withdraw and isolate yourself.

You are not alone. One out of every three women experiences LBL – that’s about 40 million women! This is a time to reach out to your close friends and family. Many of them may be going through it too.

When you start the conversation about LBL, you will find support and camaraderie with the women in your life. It’s possible to manage LBL, and move on to living your life to the fullest.

Choose to be your most vibrant self, and enjoy your mid-life adventure.

marilyn

Marilyn Suttle is a women’s success coach and the Poise LBL blogger. You can learn more about Marilyn and the Poise products for feminine wellness at www.poise.com.

 

Poise Product Pic

Top Photo:  Since Light Bladder Leakage often makes its first appearance during a sneeze, I offer you my handkerchief collection POISED (pun slightly intended) on old handkerchief box.

Hot Flashes! A Video and a Poise Giveaway

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A few weeks ago, I posted a guest post by Lori Jo Vest. She’s blogging for Poise as part of the 2nd Talk.  I have a friend getting ready to give her daughter the 1st Talk: periods and growing up. The 2nd Talk is, you guessed it, menopause, and Poise is adding energy and information to the discussion.

As part of the 2nd Talk, Dr. Jennifer Berman, menopause and intimacy expert, speaks about hot flashes:

She introduces Poise’s new cooling gel and their body cooling towlettes, designed to take some of the steam out of those flashes.

The New Products:  To learn more about the 2nd Talk and the new line of Poise products, please visit www.the2ndtalk.com

Giveaway!  Poise  was kind enough to offer tubes of the cooling gel to FIVE winners. Please  post a comment, saying you’d like to be a winner, by September 28 at noon E.S.T.  I’ll choose the winners using a  random number generator.

Photo:  The photo was taken at the Poise booth at BlogHer. The young women, confereence attendees, don’t look old enough for the 2nd Talk. But it’s good to learn what’s ahead. I wish I’d paid more attention! I think it would have helped me ready my mind and spirit for the roller coaster ride.

Guest Post: Transparency at Midlife– Let’s Have the 2nd Talk About Menopause

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A guest post by Poise Menopause Blogger Lori Jo Vest:

Once you start talking about menopause, you find out all kinds of interesting things that no one told you before.

A few years back, one of my close girlfriends shared how surprised she was that the beginning of perimenopause for her meant MORE flow and MORE periods, not less, as she would have expected.

Another friend shared that she had hot flashes whenever she got anxious and they caused her face and ears to turn bright red. It usually happened in work situations and it was completely uncontrollable.

A third friend suffered from constant headaches, causing her to miss work and her favorite activities for weeks at a time.

And yet another shared that whenever she laughed or sneezed, her bladder leaked.

Personally, I tell everyone “I’m so transparent you can see right through me.”

I tell people all kinds of details that others might keep to themselves. Most thoughts go straight from my brain to my mouth – no pauses and no filters. (Fortunately, my husband appreciates it and says it makes him happy that he never has to wonder what I’m thinking.)

That may be one of the reasons I feel so fortunate to be blogging for the new Poise website and the 2nd Talk campaign. (First, we talked about puberty. Now it’s time to talk about menopause. Hence, the “2nd Talk”.)

The 2nd Talk was initiated to start an open dialogue about a topic that has been off-limits to generations of women before us. We worry that there’s something wrong with us. We worry what men will think. We don’t want people to see us as “old” so we don’t talk about the crazy new things that are happening with our bodies.

However, the more we talk about it, the more comfortable we’ll get taking care of ourselves during this next stage of life. And to help us with that self-care, Poise has developed a new line of products designed for use during menopause.

There’s a feminine wash, panty fresheners, a roll-on cooling gel, cooling towelettes and a personal lubricant – all designed to help us fabulous menopausal women feel more confident and in control.

Learn more about the 2nd Talk and the new Poise products at www.The2ndTalk.com. (Check it out here.) You can watch videos and read stories from real women sharing their experiences. We’ve brought together a select group of experts in nutrition, aging, intimacy, fitness and menopause to provide valuable articles and answer your questions. And we’ve got two bloggers – Marilyn Suttle and me – to keep the dialog flowing.

Let’s change the conversation about menopause. The more we talk, the more we’ll know. And the more we know, the more we can share with other women who are following in our footsteps.

Lori Jo Vest lives a crazy full life, like most 40+ women. A customer service and sales expert, social media fanatic, best-selling author, overachieving wife and mom to a teenager, Lori gets energy from her close relationships with her numerous girlfriends.

Those friends have become somewhat of an informal research group for changes women in their 40s through 60s experience – like hot flashes and erratic periods – that Lori found herself going through as she hit her late 40s. She’s always enjoyed sharing what she’s learned in the business realm. Now she’s discovered how her experiences can help women who are also in this transitional phase.

Me:  I met Lori Jo Vest at the Bloomer Party at BlogHer.  She’s very real and lots of fun. I’m glad she’ll be blogging for Poise and glad to introduce her to all of you.

Poise is offering us a way COOL giveaway. Watch for it in a week or so!