Do Artificially Sweetened Drinks Affect Urinary Incontinence

The study concluded that neither stress nor urge urinary incontinence was associated with artificially sweetened beverage consumption.

Several foods and beverages, such as artificially sweetened beverages, have been thought to have negative effects on the bladder and lower urinary tract based on anecdotal evidence, but there have been few actual studies to confirm the link between urinary incontinence and artificial sweeteners. Although rat models show that artificial sweeteners increase detrusor muscle contraction.


Urinary incontinence, defined as the loss of bladder control and the unintentional leaking of urine, is not only embarrassing, it is also associated with significant co-morbidities, including cognitive impairment, functional decline, falls, fractures, stroke, depression, and an overall poorer quality of life. It is divided into what are known as urge incontinence and stress incontinence. Stress urinary incontinence occurs when your bladder leaks urine during physical activity or exertion such as during exercise, coughing, sneezing, laughing, or lifting heavy objects. Urge incontinence occurs when someone has a strong, sudden need to urinate that is difficult to delay. The bladder then squeezes, or spasms, and they lose urine (2 Trusted Source
Urge incontinence

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Causes of Urinary Incontinence

Urinary tract infections, vaginal infection or irritation, or constipation can all cause incontinence. Some medications can cause temporary bladder control problems. When incontinence lasts longer, it may be due to weak bladder or pelvic floor muscles, overactive bladder muscles, damage to nerves that control the bladder from diseases such as multiple sclerosis, diabetes, or Parkinson’s disease, diseases such as arthritis that make it difficult to get to the bathroom on time, or pelvic organ prolapse, which occurs when pelvic organs shift out of their normal place into the vagina or anus. When pelvic organs are misaligned, the bladder and urethra are unable to function normally, which may result in urine leakage (3 Trusted Source
Urinary Incontinence in Older Adults

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The study is important because it may guide clinicians counseling women with urinary incontinence to focus more on behavioral modifications, such as total volume intake, rather than on the type of beverage consumed. Further, given the multiple potential adverse health effects associated with consuming sugar-containing beverages, counseling should be directed away from avoidance of artificially sweetened beverages.

References :

  1. Artificially sweetened beverages and urinary incontinence—a secondary analysis of the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study – (
  2. Urge incontinence – (
  3. Urinary Incontinence in Older Adults – (

Source: Medindia

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