Diabetes mellitus and female lower urinary tract symptoms: a review

Neurourol Urodyn. 2008;27(5):362-7. doi: 10.1002/nau.20533.


Diabetes mellitus (DM) has reached epidemic proportions world wide. Many chronic complications of DM, including neuropathy, retinopathy and nephropathy, have been well studied and although urologic complications have been recognized since 1935, little is known about DM as a pathophysiological risk factor for development of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) in women. Diabetic nephropathy, a life-threatening condition, has received considerable attention in the last few years. Diabetic cystopathy, on the other hand, has received far less attention despite having a significant impact on quality of life, and with significant individual health risks. Initial studies suggested that long standing DM causes paralysis of the detrusor muscle leading to voiding difficulties and this has been the received wisdom regarding diabetic cystopathy for many years. In this review, we discuss what is currently known about lower urinary tract function and urinary incontinence in diabetic females, with a critical analysis of the available evidence and suggest areas for future research.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacteriuria / etiology
  • Bacteriuria / physiopathology
  • Diabetes Complications / drug therapy
  • Diabetes Complications / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Complications / physiopathology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / drug therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Urinary Bladder / physiopathology
  • Urinary Tract Infections / etiology
  • Urinary Tract Infections / physiopathology
  • Urologic Diseases / diagnosis
  • Urologic Diseases / epidemiology
  • Urologic Diseases / etiology*
  • Urologic Diseases / physiopathology*