06/15/2009 - Questions and Answers

Hormones for urinary incontinence?

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Question

My mother has incontinence. She tends to leak urine at embarrassing moments. Her doctor has prescribed hormone therapy, but it doesn't seem to be helping much.

What should she do?
 

Answer

There are several types of urinary incontinence in women - see the first link below. Sometime menopausal hormone treatment is prescribed, as it was felt that improving vaginal dryness might also be associated with improved muscle tone in the area.
 

A recent study (referenced below) examined this. Over 27,000 women who had had their uterus removed and were taking part in clinical trials of menopausal hormone therapy were investigated. They were taking either estrogen plus progestin, estrogen alone, or placebo (no treatment). The hormone treatment increased the occurrence of all types of urinary incontinence (stress, mixed, or urge incontinence) in women who hadn't had it at the start of the study, or worsened it in those who already had it.
 

There are good, proven effective, treatments for incontinence in women, but hormone therapy isn't one of them, quite the reverse. Your mother should tell the doctor that she's no better, and ask for a second opinion, if necessary. Maybe you could go with her to the doctor to give your support.

 

Related Links
MedlinePlus: Urinary Incontinence

Created on: 03/31/2005
Reviewed on: 06/15/2009

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Anonymous wrote 2 years 20 weeks ago

Baloney! I had incontinence and started taking natural hormone pills just because. My incontinence stopped and I had no idea hormones would help. Take a good quality brand. I have tried cheap ones and they did not work. Life Extension female hormone pills worked for me.