Contrary to popular belief, urine is not sterile and the bacteria in it may be associated with overactive bladder (OAB) in some women, the study noted.
“The presence of certain bacteria in women with overactive bladder appear associated with OAB symptoms,” said Evann Hilt of Loyola University Chicago in the US.
Approximately 15 percent of women suffer from OAB and an estimated 40-50 percent of affected women do not respond to conventional treatments.
One possible explanation for the lack of treatment response may be the bacteria present in these women.
For the study, researchers evaluated urine specimens of 90 women with and without OAB using a new technique known as expanded quantitative urine culture (EQUC).
EQUC was able to find bacteria that were not identified by the standard urine culture techniques typically used to diagnose urinary tract syndromes.
Using EQUC, the researchers discovered that the bladder bacteria in healthy women differ significantly from those in women affected by OAB, suggesting that certain bladder bacteria may play a role in OAB.
“If we determine that certain bacteria cause OAB symptoms, we may be able to better identify those at risk for this condition and prevent or more effectively treat affected patients,” Hilt added.