Urinary problems that may occur following menopause include stress incontinence, urge incontinence, pain while urinating and nocturia, explains WebMD. Postmenopausal women may also experience dryness and itching in the vaginal area or an increase in the occurrence of urinary tract infections, notes University of Colorado Urogynecology.
Stress incontinence is a bladder control issue in which increased pressure on the bladder from activities such as lifting items, coughing or sneezing causes urine leakage, notes WebMD. Meanwhile, urge incontinence occurs when the bladder muscles contract continuously or at the wrong times, resulting in leakage. Nocturia is characterized by the need to leave the bed several times throughout the night to urinate.
A drop in estrogen levels is one of the main reasons postmenopausal women experience urinary problems, according to WebMD. The hormone, which is involved in controlling menstrual periods and physiological changes during pregnancy, also plays a role in maintaining the health of the urethra and bladder. As estrogen levels decrease, a woman's pelvic muscles may grow weaker. These muscles are responsible for bladder control, so their weakening leads to difficulty holding in urine.
Pelvic organ prolapse is another possible cause of urinary problems during or after menopause, explains University of Colorado Urogynecology. This complication occurs when one or more organs that are normally in the pelvic area drop into the vagina.