Bladder Issues in EDS

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by Mary Chapman |

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Managing EDS bladder issues

People with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) may experience bladder issues such as stress incontinence or infection. Here are some things to know about those symptoms, including how to manage them.

Why does EDS cause bladder issues?

EDS affects connective tissue, which is present throughout the body, including the bladder. This tissue is important in facilitating the movement necessary to expel body waste. Any abnormality in the connective tissue can disrupt such function.

Bladder issues in EDS could be due to differences in the anatomy of the urinary tract and pelvis in some patients, dysfunction of the involuntary part of the nervous system that controls the bladder, inflammation, or bowel problems.

Assessments and tests

To properly diagnose your condition, your physician may undertake steps including:

  • a visual examination for possible pelvic organ prolapse and other anatomical issues;
  • ordering urine tests to rule out other problems;
  • asking you to keep a diary where you record daily events related to your bladder, including the number of times you urinate, the volume of urine, and the time it takes to void it;
  • gently feeling your bladder to measure bladder pressure;
  • testing the function and mobility of your urethra and pelvic floor;
  • performing a biopsy of your bladder’s inner lining.

Possible treatments

There are various ways to manage an overactive bladder, most of them being lifestyle strategies. Those options include:

  • maintaining a healthy weight, as less weight in the abdominal area puts less pressure on the bladder;
  • avoiding bladder irritants including coffee, tea, carbonated drinks, alcohol, spicy foods, tomato-based products, chocolate, and certain acidic fruits, such as oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes;
  • avoiding foods that contain a lot of fluid, including soup;
  • managing water and other fluid intakes;
  • retraining your bladder, which involves adjusting your habits such as identifying your urination pattern, extending your urination intervals, and adhering to a schedule;
  • strengthening your pelvic floor by doing certain exercises to make them stronger;
  • increasing physical activity as much as possible;
  • managing any chronic cough, which could make your bladder problem worse.


Last updated: Aug. 19, 2020


Ehlers-Danlos News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.