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Effects of urine alkalinization with sodium bicarbonate orally on lower urinary tract symptoms in female patients: a pilot study

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Introduction and hypothesis

In this study, we planned to explore the effects of sodium bicarbonate orally (NaHCO3) treatment on female patients with lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) who have acidic urine pH values (<6).


NaHCO3 was given orally to 33 female patients for 4 weeks at a dose of 2 × 4 g/day. Laboratory values, bladder diary, the Patient Perception of Bladder Condition Score (PPBC), Patient Perception of Intensity of Urgency Scale (PPIUS), Overactive Bladder–Validated 8-question Awareness tool (OAB-V8), Pelvic Pain and Urgency & Frequency Patient Symptom Scale tests (PUFSS), and the King’s Health Questionnaire (KHQ) scores before and after treatment were compared.


A significant increase was detected in urine pH values measured after treatment (5.31 ± 0.52 to 7.2 ± 0.66, p < 0.001), but not in blood pH values (7.369 ± 0.33 to 7.384 ± 0.28, p = 0.14). After treatment, a significant decrease was detected in daily frequency, nocturia, urgency, and urge incontinence prevalence (p < 0.001,p = 0.003, p < 0.001, p = 0.002, respectively) and PPBC, PPIUS, PUFSS, and OAB-V8 symptom scores (p = 0.004, p = 0.002, p < 0.001, p < 0.001, respectively). A significant decrease was detected in all KHQ subunit scores.


Urine alkalinization with NaHCO3 orally in female patients with LUTS and acidic urine pH has a significant level of positive effects on symptoms and symptom scores. Our results show that this new treatment modality—which is inexpensive, easy to use, and has a low side-effect profile is effective in this chronic patient group.

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Correspondence to Mehmet Giray Sönmez.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Consent was received from Necmettin Erbakan University Meram Faculty of Medicine ethics committee before the study (No: 2017/981).

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Sönmez, M.G., Göğer, Y.E., Ecer, G. et al. Effects of urine alkalinization with sodium bicarbonate orally on lower urinary tract symptoms in female patients: a pilot study. Int Urogynecol J 29, 1029–1033 (2018).

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