Bladder irritation is one of the common symptoms associated with menopause. However, you may find it hard to complain about urinary (and vaginal) symptoms out of embarrassment. Unfortunately, many doctors will not ask you about them. If you manage to whip up the courage to discuss them, hormone replacement with a combination of synthetic estrogen and progesterone may be the only option that is offered to you.
However, there are estrogen alternatives for bladder irritation that can help with these troublesome symptoms.
Estrogen alternatives for bladder irritation and frequent bladder infections
The vagina and bladder are separated by a few layers of cells so any therapy that relieves menopausal vaginal symptoms (e.g. dryness and soreness) will also improve bladder and urinary symptoms.
- Soy – this contains isoflavones with mild estrogenic activity. It is high in soy protein and dietary fibre. You need 50-150 mg of isoflavones a day. Eating 2-3 servings of soy a day can be hard work. A very good alternative is eating soy bars or drinking soy shakes which makes this easier.
- Black cohosh – this is a popular herbal remedy. It has mild estrogenic effects and helps to strengthen the vaginal and bladder lining. Take up to 30 drops of extract 2-3 times a day, ½ teaspoon of tincture twice a day, or one 250 mg tablet or capsule 2-4 times a day. Remifemin is one of the few brands of black cohosh that has been clinically proven to relieve menopause symptoms.
- Marshmallow root – relieves irritation, helps your immune system fight infection.
- Saw palmetto – helps relieve dryness and lack of tome in the bladder, helps prevent leaking of urine.
- Cornsilk – helps reduce pain associated with irritation and increases urine flow.
- Motherwort – has a calming effect, relieves pain by relaxing tissues and helps cure infections.
- Garlic helps to cure infections and stimulates the body’s defense systems.
- Aromatherapy – essential oils which may be beneficial include:
- Supplements – these help to support your system as you use some of these alternatives. They include:
- Vitamin C
Many of these remedies can be combined to give the best results. Some are sold as part of ‘menopause relief’ or ‘urinary/vaginal support’ formulas. It is important to buy from reputable vendors to avoid using substandard and/or adulterated products.
With a little resourcefulness, you can relieve bladder symptoms and other menopause-related symptoms with these safe alternatives.