Do you suffer from or know someone who suffers from an overactive bladder? If you do, conventional wisdom is that you should not drink coffee or caffeinated beverages, as this will make your bladder worse. Overactive bladders are found in both women and men and are common. Surveys have shown that 20% of women have some weekly leakage of their bladder. Often times this issue is the result of child bearing, weakness in the pelvic floor or lack of estrogen.
A new study published in the International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology looked at 14,000 Swedish twins (We didn’t even know there were that many!) and their caffeine consumption habits, as well as their urinary incontinence (leakage) symptoms. Using twins in a research study is always interesting because you can control for genetic influences, which makes for a rare and unique situation. The study took into consideration factors such as age, weight and smoking habits. The results showed a decreased, not an increased, risk of incontinence or leaky bladder by about 22% in people who drink coffee. So, the moral of this research (or story) is don’t believe everything you hear- this story can have a happy ending.