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IBS and Irritable Bladder

Hi everyone, been a while since I've been on here, but nice to know I have people who understand when I'm going through a rocky patch again. I suffer with IBS and have done for about seven years, I also for as long as I can remember have had a relatively weak bladder. I am currently going through a phase of high anxiety due to the increased need to urinate as a result of IBS. When I say increased, I mean Sunday morning I went to the toilet with IBS symptoms twice and subsequently needed to urinate five times in the following two hours. As I am getting more aware of the impact my IBS is having on my bladder, going out is becoming increasingly stressful and starting to negatively impact on my life, as I am only 24! I wondered if anyone else has had similar experiences and any advice would be really appreciated. I have been referred to a specialist but day to day in the meantime is proving difficult.

Thanks everyone!

4 Replies


I am sorry to hear you are currently suffering, but you are not alone! I have this too, and it can be a real pain when out and about - I tend to just make sure I go anytime I have the opportunity to be of the safe side. I find it worst when I'm going to bed, I'll often have to get up to go 2 or 3 times before finally being able to settle! And usually have to get up maybe once in the night too. To be honest, it's not something I've approached specifically with my GP, as in my appointments the focus is mostly on the IBS pain, so I don't know of anything that can be done to help with the bladder symptoms, but I'd certainly be interested to hear if anyone else on here can suggest anything!

Best wishes,

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Hi Lucy

Ask your GP to refer you to a UTI/Gynae specialist.

I"m now nearly eighty and found a successful treatment a bit late in the day!

All my adult life I'd had incessant bladder frequency and UTI's--along with the IBS. I spent much of my life on antibiotics which inevitably failed to clear up these infections. Going out and about became such a military exercise I almost always ducked out and stayed near the bathroom at home.

Last year I was referred to a gynaecologist (--to my amazement--) who had an interest in chronic bladder problems in women, as well as other problems of the pelvic floor area.

He prescribed Vagifem tablets: a hormone pessary inserted by a plunger into the vagina, as well as prophylactic Nitrofurantoin.

I remain on the antibiotics but the Vagifem did the biz. and that means I am now completely free of urgency of bladder. Such a release!

This may not suit your case, but the effects have been so dramatic for me, physically and socially, that I urge you to check, long before you are 80, whether it might help you..!


Hi lucycornwall

I'm with you on the appreciation of this page, it is horrible reading how bad this gets for some women but wonderful to know I'm not alone. During my last really bad flare up I had a day where over the course of 16 hours I had to pee 45 times. I started realising this is a pattern for me. My bladder gets so irritated by my IBS symptoms. During the course of the night in bed it's not uncommon for me to have to go 7/8 times. I seem to meet myself coming back sometimes. I spoke to my new GP about it (she's better than any I've ever seen before) and she confirmed to me that IBS irritates "everything". I had my urine tested and it was clear. I've just read CCchris's reply. I may look into this.

Best wishes



The bladder and the colon interact with each other. Right now I am having a HORRIBLE flare up with my bladder that is triggering my IBS; it's like the reverse of what you are having, but really the same thing. There is something called pelvic floor dysfunction and it is believed to be caused by muscles in the pelvis. They actually do quite intimate physical therapy that has helped a lot of people. It depends on where you are; some PT's have never heard of it, but here in Northern California it is well known. I would try googling "pelvic floor disorders" and if you don't find anything I will try to find an article for you. There is a PAINFULLY LONG book called "A Headache In the Pelvis"; they have a website which is more brief. I am going through hell right now. My IBS had really calmed down over the years but now with the bladder problems it is flaring up again. I am miserable. I am seeing a PT next week. I also have very bad leg pain, also in my back. And fatigue. Hang in there and tell me if you need more info.


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