It’s no secret that our bodies are highly affected by hormones – estrogen and progesterone put us into a monthly cycle, which can in turn affect our mood and general well-being. Testosterone fits into the hormone puzzle too. While most often associated with men (it’s a male sex hormone), women also have testosterone; our ovaries produce this hormone in addition to estrogen.
It turns out that low levels of testosterone may contribute to stress incontinence in women. A recent study of 2123 women found that those who fell into the lowest range of testosterone level had 48% increased likelyhood of stress incontinence and 65% increased likelyhood of mixed incontinence compared with women not in the lowest range. So if you think about a sliding scale of testosterone levels, it was the women who fell into the bottom 1/4 of the range who indicated a higher chance of stress incontinence.
In animal models, hormones such as testosterone have been shown to strengthen the pelvic floor muscle system. The natural conclusion is that “testosterone may prevent pelvic floor atrophy, thereby reducing the risk of urinary incontinence,” according to one of the study authors.
This is the first study to demonstrate a link between testosterone levels and stress incontinence. We at LeakyLily wonder about other hormone levels as well. In our non-scientific survey of women, some women indicate that they have to manage more incidents of leakage as they get closer to menstruation date. Have you found this to be the case? Let us know!
Study Summary: Low Testosterone Increase Women’s Urinary Incontinence Risk