Patients do not talk to their gynos enough about the causes of their sleep disturbances, but getting up to go to the bathroom and pee too often, called nocturia, is one of the top offenders and should be discussed!
Nocturia, or urinating during the night, can affect both the amount of time getting to sleep called sleep latency, and staying asleep. And patients with nocturia suffer greatly and have increased rates of depression, miss work, more mental health issues such as being depressed or having low self-esteem, and are more likely to die from increased rates of death in all categories studied.
About half of all adults from 55-85 complain that trips to the bathroom disrupt their sleep!
As we get older, there is also a greater tendency to fall when traveling to the bathroom at night, and then need treatment for fractures.
Nocturia may just be associated with overactive bladder (OAB), but there are so many other medical conditions with nocturia, it's often more difficult to diagnose the true cause and get effective treatment.
There are some medical problems that are treated by medications, such as the anti-hypertension medications water wills, which are one cause of needing to get up to pee too often.
One of the first steps is going to be to chart your bladder routines so that the diagnosis of overactive bladder can be ruled in or out right away.
Rather than trying sleep medication, you may want to try treating the bladder. In an original study funded by Pfizer, Inc and published in Obstetrics and Gynecology, they showed that actually using medicine for urgency dominated incontinence improved sleep. If you still cannot sleep it's not a bad idea to try sleeping medication, after a discussion with your physician, but women have to be careful as they tend to be very sensitive to those medications and may require very low dosing.
Nocturia could be due to your bladder not holding the amount of urine it should. You've made it too tiny because you void too frequently, or it's how you were born or a condition that developed after pelvic surgery. It's also possible that your kidney is just making much more fluid at night than in the day, only keeping track of the amounts you urinate over three days will help answer that question. It's also possible you don't empty completely so you get full fast, especially at night, if you do go, make sure you empty more completely.
Both the non-invasive vaginal treatments of MonaLisa Touch and ThermiVa have improved nocuturia in a safe, natural, tissue supporting way. PRP is helpful as well.
Hormones do affect the control our bladders as well as other aspects of our body. And it's not just your hormones produced from your ovaries, it can be the hormones you ingest from soy or from meats or from medication. Women who have bladder dysfunction can be any age, any weight, any genetic background, although there are multiple factors that contribute.
Another non-contraceptive benefit to The Pill: Women of child-bearing age who use oral contraceptives face a lower risk of lower urinary tract dysfunction than women of similar ages who do not, say researchers from Sweden. "Hormone intake in the form of oral contraceptives has the potential to positively influence bladder and urethral function," Dr. Daniel Altman from Karolinska Institutet Stockholm, Stockholm, Sweden told Reuters Health. This group has pretty much done what most gynos would call preliminary work. Rounding up twins, and studying them via the web they came to these conclusions. They were looking for various bladder disorders including stress incontinence...or leaking with coughing and sneezing...and urgency incontinence (or mixed incontinence, if they had both), overactive bladder...as in running to the bathroom all the time, or nocturia. It was reported in the August 2009 issue of Fertility and Sterility, their conclusions were that current use of oral contraceptives was associated with a 43% lower risk of stress urinary incontinence, a 48% lower risk of mixed urinary incontinence, and a 64% lower risk of urgency urinary incontinence.
Findings from the Women's Health Initiative, for example, do not support the use of either hormone replacement therapy or oral contraceptives for only treating urinary incontinence in older women. It is important to note, that is was a population based study. So not really a study specifically of women with overt disease. And it's not really known if women with an actual medical problem that needs treatment could for instance avoid treatment with other medications if she just got on The Pill and stayed on the pill. But it's a provocative idea, and one that could be tried if you want suggestions of something you can try before you get on longer term medication.
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