Oestrogen also helps to keep the tissue in your bladder and pelvic floor stronger and more flexible, so when oestrogen levels drop during midlife, the tissues of the vagina and urethra can lose elasticity.
“These hormone shifts can lead to changes in the lower urinary tract that can cause greater frequency and urgency to urinate,” Farrell explains.
You may find that you wake more often at night with the need to urinate.“It can also lead to ‘urge incontinence’, which causes women to leak urine,” she says.
But there’s no need to be embarrassed – there are solutions, some as simple as adding linseed to your cereal or salads.“Research suggests that taken in a quantity of 25g (two tablespoons) a day they can reduce vaginal dryness in postmenopausal women by ‘plumping up’ vaginal cells,” says naturopath, Sandra Villella.
Doing simple pelvic floor exercises can help strengthen your muscles and give you back control. Start by squeezing your pelvic floor for 5-10 seconds with a break of 10 seconds between. Repeat 10 times.
That daily commute to and from work is a good time to do it – no-one will even know!