Cranberries really are great for bladder health! Women “going through the change” tend to experience more urinary tract infections, and postmenopausal women have the highest risk. As estrogen levels drop, the structures surrounding the bladder begin to atrophy. That means they are no longer as plump as they once were. Women can begin to experience stress incontinence, urge incontinence, dryness, and painful intercourse. Decreasing levels of female hormones are to blame.
Just to clarify, stress incontinence is leaking urine when coughing, sneezing, or laughing. Urge incontinence is the feeling of a sudden urge to use the restroom to the point where you think you may not make it. Any incontinence can be embarrassing. Talk to your healthcare provider about the available options for treating these conditions.
Some women may experience incomplete emptying of their bladder, and this can be associated with both of types of incontinence. Urine retained in the bladder is more prone to infection. Cranberries contain proanthocyanins, a substance which keeps bacteria from sticking to the bladder wall. Adding cranberries or small amounts of cranberry juice to your diet may help you avoid urinary tract infections.