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The Link Between Hormone Therapy And Urinary Incontinence

Treatment for urinary incontinence found to increase the incidence of incontinence in postmenopausal women // say researchers based on recent findings .

Estrogen plus progestin or estrogen alone has long been used to treat postmenopausal women. Menopausal hormone therapy (MHT), which consists of estrogen and progestin treatment, has also been credited for relief of hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness. MHT was often prescribed specifically to improve the symptoms of urinary incontinence.

Researchers conducted a study to determine the effects of MHT (estrogen and progestin or estrogen alone) and the severity of symptoms of stress, urge, and mixed UI. Stress incontinence occurs when a patient involuntarily puts pressure on the bladder by coughing, laughing, sneezing or lifting. Urge incontinence is generally attributable to involuntary contracts of the bladder muscle. Mixed UI is identified as involuntary leakage associated with urgency and exertion. Researchers analyzed data of 27,347 postmenapausal women ages 50 to 79 who were on hormone therapy.

Study results showed menopausal hormone therapy increased the incidence of all types of UI in women who were continent at the beginning of the year. The risk was highest for stress UI, followed by mixed UI. Among women who reported having UI at the beginning of the study, both frequency and amount of UI worsened in both trials.

Thus in conclusion researchers say their results indicate that MHT use does not confer protection against any type of UI and they suggest that considerations regarding the use of hormone therapy by postmenopausal women for any duration should incorporate the current findings into the established risks and benefits.

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