For years the standard advice doctors gave patients was that coffee\caffeine contributed to urinary incontinence. Now we know that women with urinary incontinence who also enjoy their regular cup of coffee or tea don’t have to worry about the extra caffeine making their condition worse.
The new research stands in contrast to the common recommendation that women with incontinence avoid caffeinated foods and beverages.
A recent study from Harvard showed that women with moderate incontinence shouldn’t be concerned about their caffeine consumption. All women, even those without incontinence, need to know that caffeine increases the production of urine and may give some the urge to urinate.
The researchers looked at data on roughly 21,500 women enrolled in two large studies, each of which tracked the long-term health of U.S. nurses through surveys starting in the 1970s or 1980s. The study included women with moderate incontinence — defined as leaking urine one to three times per month — from participants who were asked about incontinence and caffeine consumption in 2002 or 2003.
The women were questioned about how much caffeine they consumed in the form of coffee, tea, soda or chocolate. Two years later, when they were again surveyed about incontinence, about 20% said their symptoms had gotten worse and they now leaked urine at least once per week.
The percentage of women with urinary incontinence progression was similar across categories of baseline level of caffeine intake. Similarly, they were unable to find a link between increased caffeine consumption and worsening urinary symptoms — either for general incontinence or for overactive bladder in particular.
Bottom Line: If you are a woman with mild to moderate urinary incontinence, caffeine in moderation will probably not worsen your urinary symptoms
SOURCE: http://bit.ly/IJ1RzF (April 23, 2012 in Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology)