In our last three blog topics, we took a pretty in-depth look at the bladder. We covered basic anatomy and talked about various methods of treatments that our office prescribes for ladies with urinary troubles. Since the bladder is fresh in our minds, I’d like to talk about one more bladder component– the trigone. I’d like you to take a quick glance at the diagram we used for the last few blogs. Take a look at the funnel shape toward the bottom of the diagram. This area of the bladder is called the trigone.
The trigone is essentially the floor of the bladder. Small tubes (called ureters) bring urine from your kidneys to your bladder by connecting to the trigone on both the left and the right sides. For the sake of keeping things simplified, I did not include this part of the system in our initial diagram. But now you know the “funnel” has a name, and it is responsible for opening when it’s time to use the bathroom, and it’s responsible for staying closed otherwise. The trigone uses the motor and sensory nerves to communicate with the brain to perfectly time the release of urine.
The trigone is estrogen dependent, which means it requires a certain amount of estrogen to properly function. And when the trigone doesn’t get enough estrogen, the following symptoms can appear: burning and stinging when voiding, vaginal dryness, and frequent yeast infections. Additionally, some women find that they leak a small amount of urine when they sneeze, laugh, or cough. This is because estrogen keeps the trigone strong. When the trigone is strong, it’s able to close all the way– when it’s weak, urine is able to leak out. A lot of older women think that leaking urine is just a part of being older, or something that happens after you’ve had kids, or when you’re going through menopause. And yes, it tends to happen as ladies age and estrogen levels naturally decline, but it also happens to younger women, too.
Taking a small amount of estrogen (there are a variety of types to fit your preference or lifestyle needs) can really give your trigone what it needs to properly function. And although estrogen alone might not solve all your Interstitial Cystitis symptoms, it really can help give your bladder a boost in healing.