Fluids affecting bladder urgency and lower urinary symptoms: results from a randomized controlled trial

Janis M. Miller*, Megan O. Schimpf, Kieran Hawthorne, Sarah B. Hortsch, Caroline Garcia, Abigail R. Smith

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Introduction and hypothesis: Caffeinated, alcoholic, artificially sweetened, carbonated, and acidic beverages are pervasive and consumed in large quantities. Reputedly, these beverages are “irritating to the bladder” and result in heightened void frequency, but prior studies lack control for intake volume. We tested the null hypothesis that women recruited from the community who demonstrate overactive bladder symptoms will show no difference by groups in void frequency when one group is instructed to replace listed beverages by substituting non-irritants (emphasis on water or milk) and the other group is instructed in healthy eating. Methods: This was a parallel-group randomized controlled trial design with a three-period fixed sequence (baseline and 2 and 6 weeks post-baseline). We recruited 105 community women with overactive bladder symptoms. Inclusion criteria: >7 voids per day or 2 voids per night, daily intake of ≥16 oz. (473 ml) of beverages containing the ingredients listed above, and ≥ 32 oz. (946 ml) of total fluid intake. Stratified randomization was conducted. The primary outcome was average daily void frequency on a 3-day diary. Results: Participants were 86% white, mean (SD) age was 46.6 (17.6) years, and baseline void frequency was 9.2 (2.9) voids per day. At 2 and 6 weeks, estimated average (SD) difference in void frequency between group 1 and group 2 was −0.46 (0.57) and −0.31 (0.57) voids per day (p > 0.05); the null hypothesis was not rejected. Conclusions: Women who reduce potentially irritating beverages while maintaining total fluid volume intake is not predictive of void frequency. Further research on type and volume of beverage intake is recommended.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1329-1345
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Urogynecology Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2022


  • Fluid intake
  • Lower urinary tract symptoms
  • Prevention
  • Quality of life
  • Symptom bother
  • Urge incontinence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Urology


Dive into the research topics of 'Fluids affecting bladder urgency and lower urinary symptoms: results from a randomized controlled trial'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this