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Your Uro-Biome

Updated: Mar 24, 2023


The guardians of the urinary tract.


Until recently, researchers thought the bladder was mostly sterile, or bacteria-free. New data is now showing that our bladders are full of helpful bacteria, just like our intestines. (1)


Now we know the uro-biome is is a diverse collection of bacteria, fungi and viruses that live in our urinary tract and defend against infection. This is the bladder microbiome!



Understanding the uro-biome can help guide individualized treatment for:

  • urinary infections

  • pelvic pain

  • interstitial cystitis

  • incontinence

  • yeast infections

  • prostate health


 

The facts:
  • Some strains of Lactobacillus are associated with female urinary incontinence (2)

  • There are differences in the uro-biomes between individuals with bladder cancer and those without (3)

  • Our uro-biome "profiles" correspond to how effectively we can treat conditions like urinary urgency and incontinence (4).




How can this help?

If you’re looking to reduce pain, heal recurrent or acute urinary infections, address leakage, or promote a healthy immune system, the uro-biome is an important piece of your care.



Does our intestinal microbiome affect the uro-biome?

YES! Getting to the root of urinary issues may involve investigation into the gut microbiome. Imbalances in one place can "seed" imbalances in the other. This is also true for the vaginal microbiome.


In addition to addressing the intestinal microbiome, this research encourages us to look at the interplay between our digestion and our urinary system. Certain probiotics, dietary and lifestyle changes as well as addressing barriers to proper circulation and movement can all help to support your uro-biome health.



How can I get help?

If you have concerns about bladder, prostate or pelvic health, bring this up at your next appointment. I’d love to use this knowledge to build a more comprehensive approach to your care.





Works Referenced

1. Wolfe, Alan J, and Linda Brubaker. “Urobiome updates: advances in urinary microbiome research.” Nature reviews. Urology vol. 16,2 (2019): 73-74. doi:10.1038/s41585-018-0127-5


2. Komesu YM, Richter HE, Carper B, Dinwiddie DL, Lukacz ES, Siddiqui NY, Sung VW, Zyczynski HM, Ridgeway B, Rogers RG, Arya LA, Mazloomdoost D, Gantz MG. “The urinary microbiome in women with mixed urinary incontinence compared to similarly aged controls.” Pelvic Floor Disorders Network. Int Urogynecol J. 2018 Dec; 29(12):1785-1795.


3. Bučević Popović V, Šitum M, Chow CT, Chan LS, Roje B, Terzić J. “The urinary microbiome associated with bladder cancer.” Sci Rep. 2018 Aug 14; 8(1):12157.


4. Thomas-White KJ, Hilt EE, Fok C, et al. Incontinence medication response relates to the female urinary microbiota. Int Urogynecol J. 2016;27(5):723-733. doi:10.1007/s00192-015-2847-x


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