How Does Low Estrogen Affect Urinary Health? – Boom Home Medical
Skip to content

Estrogen and Urinary Health

by Valerie Ulene 03 Apr 2024

Although most women have heard of estrogen, many don’t understand its connection to their urinary health, so let's take a deep dive and learn about this important female hormone.

Estrogen is a female reproductive hormone that plays many roles in the body, perhaps the most important being regulating the menstrual cycle. During menopause, the stage of life when the ovaries stop releasing eggs and the menstrual cycle stops, estrogen levels naturally decline. This hormonal shift is thought to be responsible for many of the well-known symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes and vaginal dryness.

In addition to these common symptoms, declining estrogen levels can also contribute to other issues including urinary incontinence.

Bladder Symptoms Associated With Low Estrogen

When estrogen levels fall, particularly during menopause, it can lead to a range of bladder symptoms that significantly impact a woman's quality of life.

These symptoms can be bothersome and may include the need to urinate more frequently, the urge to urinate suddenly and unexpectedly, and urinary incontinence. It’s important to understand the potential effects low estrogen can have on the bladder so, if you’re experiencing them, you can seek appropriate care. 

Here’s a list of bladder symptoms commonly associated with low estrogen levels:

  • Increased frequency of urination
  • Urgency to urinate
  • Recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs)
  • Difficulty emptying the bladder completely
  • Nocturia (needing to urinate frequently during the night)
  • Painful urination
  • Bladder irritation
  • Decreased bladder capacity
  • Urinary retention
  • Urinary incontinence

How Lower Estrogen Levels Affect the Bladder and Pelvic Floor

Because estrogen promotes the overall health and function of the bladder and urinary tract, reduced estrogen levels, such as those experienced during menopause, can lead to a variety of bladder-related issues.

The specific effects of estrogen on the bladder and urinary tract include:

  • Estrogen helps maintain the tone and elasticity of the bladder muscles. Declining estrogen levels during menopause can lead to reduced bladder tone and contribute to urinary incontinence.
  • Estrogen helps maintain the health of the lining of the bladder. Reduced estrogen levels can lead to inflammation and irritation of the bladder lining, which may result in symptoms such as increased frequency, urgency, and pain during urination.
  • Estrogen helps keep the muscles of the pelvic floor strong. Weakness of these muscles can lead to urinary incontinence and other bladder problems.

Types of Urinary Incontinence Associated with Low Estrogen Levels

There are several types of urinary incontinence women may experience, but low estrogen levels have been linked to two types in particular: stress incontinence and urge incontinence.

Stress Incontinence

Stress incontinence is the involuntary loss of urine triggered by activities that increase pressure inside the belly or abdomen, like sneezing, coughing, laughing, or exercising. It develops when the muscles in the pelvis that support the bladder and urinary tract weaken.

Although stress urinary incontinence can happen to women at any age, it is far more common in older women. In fact, it’s estimated that as many 1 in 3 women 65 and older experience it.

Urge Incontinence

Urge incontinence causes a sudden, urgent, and uncontrollable need to urinate that simply can’t be delayed. In fact, women with urge incontinence frequently leak urine before they’re able to get to a bathroom. It’s thought that urge incontinence is related to the muscles that control bladder emptying. Instead of contracting only when the bladder is full and ready to empty, the muscles squeeze sporadically and without warning.

Because they are unpredictable, symptoms of urge incontinence are extremely challenging to navigate.

Products for Daily Incontinence Management

Using supportive products like portable urinals and absorbent underwear is one of the simplest solutions for managing symptoms of incontinence. This is where Boom Home Medical comes in! We design products with women in mind.

Loona Portable Urinal

The Loona—one of the best portable urinals for women—is designed specifically for female anatomy. Created with curves that match a woman's natural shape and a soft silicone funnel, Loona is comfortable to use.

At night, keep the Loona urinal bedside and avoid the risks inherent in walking to the toilet in the dark. 

Its unique design makes it quiet to use, so you’re less likely to wake a partner. During the daytime, the Loona is perfect if you’re concerned about finding a bathroom when you’re out of the house. 

Loona comes in three designer colors -- Coral Dream, Moon Grey, and Loona Blue – and it’s so pretty that no one will likely know what it is! 

Boom Absorbent Underwear for Women

Boom Absorbent Underwear are perfect for those unexpected light bladder leaks that can occur throughout the day. Both stylish and comfortable, their three-layer construction is designed for all-day protection, ensuring you remain fresh, dry, and confident. Boom's absorbent underwear allows you to get back to your life and the activities you enjoy.

Reusable and easy to care for, Boom Absorbent Underwear are convenient—simply wear, wash, and wear again—and eco-friendly (far better than disposable panty liners). Available in two stylish options, Classic and Lace, our underwear offers a look suitable for every occasion.

How to Manage Low Estrogen Urinary Symptoms

Fortunately, for women trying to navigate challenging urinary symptoms, there are effective treatment options available. 

Topical Estrogen Therapy

Topical estrogen therapy works by delivering estrogen directly to the vaginal tissues in the form of creams or vaginal estrogen rings. Studies show that vaginal estrogen strengthens the muscles and connective tissue that make up the pelvic floor and helps improve urinary frequency and urgency. 

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)

Low estrogen levels after menopause are often managed with the use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) that is given either orally (by mouth in the form of a pill) or via a patch placed on the skin.  Although HRT has been shown to help alleviate some menopausal symptoms, it does not appear to be terribly effective in improving incontinence. Because hormone therapy poses some potential risks, it’s important to discuss this type of treatment thoroughly with your healthcare provider to determine if it’s appropriate for you. 

Pelvic Floor Exercises

As women transition into menopause, the pelvic floor muscles lose some of their strength. As these muscles get weaker, the pelvic organs including the bladder, vagina and uterus, can drop subtlety (or, in some cases, not so subtlety) and problems with bladder control can develop.

Kegel exercises are simple maneuvers that involve squeezing, holding, and then relaxing the pelvic muscles with the goal of strengthening the pelvic floor. To be effective, Kegels need to be done regularly--eight or 10 repetitions of Kegels three or four times a day being a good goal.

Behavioral and Dietary Changes

Women aiming to gain better control over bladder symptoms can try several simple lifestyle modifications to combat leaks. Monitoring fluid intake and taking regular bathroom breaks are among the most obvious. Because incontinence is worse when the bladder is full, drinking small amounts of fluids throughout the day instead of consuming a lot all at once can also be helpful. Finally, using the toilet and fully emptying the bladder before engaging in activities that may trigger bladder leaks is always a good idea. Don’t for example play pickleball without a bathroom pitstop first; playing with a full bladder is just asking for trouble! 

If there’s one dietary change to focus on, it would be reducing your intake of caffeine. Studies suggest that people who consume caffeine are more likely to experience urinary frequency and urgency than individuals who remain largely caffeine-free. This might be because caffeine acts as a mild diuretic, increasing the need to urinate, or because caffeine irritates the bladder, triggering it to contract involuntarily.

Key Takeaways

It’s challenging for anyone to deal with the physical and emotional changes associated with menopause and aging. But, for women managing urinary symptoms like incontinence, it can be particularly troublesome. Thankfully, there are treatments that can help…

…and products too. Boom Home Medical's portable female urinal and absorbent underwear allow women suffering from incontinence to feel confident and comfortable. Because, at Boom, we believe that everyone deserves to care for themselves without shame or embarrassment. That’s why we’ve created beautiful products that fit seamlessly into your life and home.

Don't let urinary incontinence hold you back – be proactive. Start by talking to your healthcare provider about your symptoms. Although it can be a difficult conversation to have, it’s an important one. And a good first step to living life free from the limitations of bladder symptoms.

FAQs about Estrogen and Urinary Health

Is low estrogen always the cause of urinary symptoms?

No, low estrogen is not always the problem. Urinary symptoms like incontinence can arise for a variety of reasons and, if you’re experiencing them, it’s important to consult with your healthcare provider to investigate their underlying cause.

How can Boom Home Medical's products help alleviate low estrogen bladder symptoms?

Designed by women for women, our portable urinal and absorbent underwear are terrific products for women who have reached menopause and are experiencing incontinence. The Loona is perfect for postmenopausal women with stress incontinence who worry about finding a bathroom when they’re out of the house as well as those with urge incontinence who make frequent (and often unexpected) trips to the bathroom.

Are there specific lifestyle changes that will improve bladder health due to low estrogen?

There are a variety of lifestyle changes that can help, strengthening the muscles of the pelvic floor with Kegel exercises being among the most important.

Can bladder symptoms related to low estrogen be improved?

Hormonal therapy and lifestyle interventions can help reverse symptoms of low estrogen and improve urinary problems.

Where can I find additional resources and support for managing symptoms related to menopause?

Take a look at the National Institute of Health menopause resources page. It is a good source of information on menopause and menopausal symptoms like incontinence.


Prev Post
Next Post

Thanks for subscribing!

This email has been registered!

Shop the look

Choose Options

Edit Option
this is just a warning
Shopping Cart
0 items