Do you frequently have to get up during the night to empty your bladder? You’re not alone. In women over 40, two out of three have to get up in the night to go to the bathroom. And about a third report experiencing nocturia, a condition where a person experiences excessive urination during the night.
But there may be hope. A small study of 245 post-menopausal women at Ghent University Hospital in Belgium, published this month, showed hormone therapy to be effective at significantly reducing the incidence of nocturia. The study divided the women into four groups: one control group and three groups receiving different forms of hormone therapy (estrogen only, estrogen + progesterone, or tissue-selective estrogen complex, also known as TSEC).
In the groups receiving hormone therapy versus the control group, the prevalence of nocturia decreased by over 11%, from 27.7% to 16.4%. When examined more closely, certain differences emerged: the groups treated with estrogen + progesterone or TSEC reported not just diminished nocturna but also significantly better, less disrupted sleep. The group on estrogen alone didn’t see as big a change in their sleep patterns, but did report less urinary urgency. While the mechanisms are different, the conclusion is the same: there’s hope for those who’d like to spend as much of the night as possible in bed.