Irritable bladder: quick test for better diagnosis

Irritable bladder: quick test for better diagnosis

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Rapid test for irritable bladder available soon?

Millions of people worldwide have problems with their bladder, which means that they cannot hold urine, often have to go to the toilet and wake up to urinate at night. This may require the use of special hygiene products and contribute to social isolation. However, the latest findings could lead to the development of a rapid test that would significantly improve diagnosis and treatment.

The test, developed in a recent study by the University of Portsmouth, could improve the treatment of lower urinary tract disorder so that people no longer have to go through expensive and invasive exams and may even be spared the use of special hygiene products. The results of the study were published in the English-language journal "Nature’s Scientific Reports".

A lower urinary tract disorder is common

About every fifth person suffers from a disorder of the lower urinary tract, which is also called an irritable bladder. Those affected are sometimes dependent on sanitary napkins or special underwear. The disease often leads to social isolation in those affected.

Extreme isolation due to bladder problems?

There are many affected people who, despite the protective measures mentioned above, fear that they will smell of urine even with absorbent underwear and therefore try not to leave their home if possible, which can lead to extreme isolation.

Rapid test similar to a pregnancy test

Researchers at the University of Portsmouth have now identified substances in urine that are specific for an overactive bladder. The next step is to develop a test that would be similar to a pregnancy test that could determine whether these chemical markers are present. According to the researchers, a corresponding device is about 12 to 24 months before clinical testing.

New test should be quick and easy

The first step was to identify substances in the urine that are specific for an overactive bladder. The next step is the development of a device for use in general practices, pharmacies and nursing or care homes, which is easy to use and provides accurate results. It is also important that the results can be evaluated without having to send the test to a laboratory for evaluation.

Testing could make painful surgery unnecessary

If the development is successful, it would save millions of people from painful interventions and long waiting times for a diagnosis, the researchers hope. And it would also help health services to cut costs.

20 percent of the total population suffer from urinary disorders

This investigation is the first step to change the lives of millions of people who are breastfeeding and are too embarrassed to go outside or talk about their condition. Urinary tract diseases affect 20 percent of the total population. At the age of 50, about every third person suffers from a urinary tract disease.

Diagnosing an overactive bladder is problematic

Diagnosing an irritable bladder (when a person has to urinate very often and sometimes cannot hold the urine) is at best a tedious process. First of all, a variety of possible diseases with the same symptoms must be excluded, including some types of cancer, type 2 diabetes, cystitis and a urinary tract infection.

Disadvantages of currently used tests

Some of the tests to date have not provided clear results and the search for the cause of the problems is delayed. One of the tests is also invasive, painful and very expensive. The diseases can therefore be difficult to diagnose, so that the state of health of those affected has often deteriorated when the results are finally available.

Advantages of a new test

The new test would only take a few minutes to give an accurate result. In addition, it would be inexpensive at around £ 10. Treatment could then begin immediately, long before the symptoms compel the person to use special hygiene products.

Treatment must be given as early as possible

Effective treatment is early treatment. If problems with the bladder go untreated, the bladder can change. Additional nerves, blood vessels and cells grow and the bladder becomes smaller than before. It must not be that so many people isolate themselves at home and avoid any social interaction, with a complaint for which there are helpful treatments if it is recognized early. (as)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • Sepinoud Firouzmand, Ladan Ajori, John S. Young: New participant stratification and combination of urinary biomarkers and confounders could improve diagnostic accuracy for overactive bladder, in Nature's Scientific Reports 10 (published 02/20/2020), Nature's Scientific Reports

Video: Cystoscopy overactive bladder (November 2022).