Nocturia in women

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Nocturia in women is a notable health concern, associated with significant morbidity and decreases in health-related quality of life. It is implicated in daytime somnolence and poor sleep quality, and has been found to negatively impact household activities, work, exercise, and sexual activity. This review is intended to relay new information regarding the prevalence, cause, risk factors, ramifications, and treatment options for nocturia in women as it gains traction as a clinical entity in and of itself.

Recent findings

New literature exposes the prevalence and burden of nocturia among young, healthy nulliparous women; reveals its presence in women without daytime symptoms; suggests its relationship with abnormal bowel function; and supports its association with obesity, cardiac burden and poor sleep. The link between nocturia and menopause has been challenged, and recent nomenclature describing the genitourinary symptoms of menopause excludes it from the list. Desmopressin and tamsulosin trials in women have demonstrated safety and efficacy in limiting nocturia frequency and severity, as well as in improving sleep parameters.

Summary

Nocturia is an impactful health issue at risk of being missed, especially in younger female patients. Open dialogue, purposeful questioning, and screening surveys can help elicit this symptom in women who are embarrassed or who accredit it to normal aging and therefore do not seek medical attention. In light of a growing geriatric population, nocturia is a clinical entity of increasing importance as it can be a clue to underlying systemic disorder or it can be an isolated symptom with significant clinical implications if left unaddressed.

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