Urinary incontinence is when someone chronically leaks urine accidentally. It is also known as “overactive bladder”. Incontinence can result in conditions such as:

  • Weak bladder and weak pelvic floor muscles
  • Overactive bladder muscles
  • Nerve damage in the bladder
  • Pelvic organ prolapse: the pelvic organs shift out of place

The most common type of urinary incontinence for perimenopausal and menopausal women is stress incontinence. This occurs when pressure is placed on the bladder. This pressure can result from exercise, laughing, sneezing, coughing, and lifting heavy objects. Stress incontinence is common in perimenopause, but typically does not worsen as the woman progresses into menopause.  

The decreasing levels of estrogen can also cause thinning of the urethra, the tube that passes urine through the bladder out of the body. The pelvic muscles also weaken as a result of natural aging. This all results in higher susceptibility to urinary incontinence.

In order to combat these symptoms, it is recommended to incorporate pelvic floor ‘Kegel’ exercises into your routine in order to strengthen your muscles in those regions.

While incontinence is not a huge reason for concern, it is important to take advantage of the resources available to take control of your incontinence, in order to improve quality of life. It may be difficult at first, but investing in certain routines can truly pay off in the long run. 

-Written by Kaila An MPH 

References (n.d.). Urinary Incontinence, Sexual Side Effects of Menopause | The North American Menopause Society, NAMS. North American Menopause Society. Retrieved January 29, 2023, from

Urinary Incontinence in Older Adults | National Institute on Aging. (2023, January 25). National Institute on Aging. Retrieved January 29, 2023, from


Focus on drinking fluids during the daytime and afternoon. Skip alcohol, and drinks with caffeine like coffee, tea and coke which tend to increase urine.


Some foods like fruits contain a higher level of water, try to avoid these in the evening. 

If you're unsure that you're going through perimenopause, we recommend reaching out to you health care provider for further testing. Your doctor may suggest blood tests to check if you're in transition to menopause (aka perimenopause). 

for additional support join the perimenopause community here.

There are certain foods that tend to irritate the bladder, these include- coffee, tea, carbonated drinks, alcohol, some citrus fruits (orange, grapefruit, lemons), spicy food, chocolate and tomato-based foods.

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