What is Fowler’s Syndrome?
Fowler’s Syndrome was first described by Professor Clare J Fowler in 1985 and consists of difficulty in passing urine and urinary retention due to the bladder’s sphincter muscle’s failure to relax. Fowler’s affects young women and up to half the patients affected have polycystic ovaries.
Who is affected?
Fowler’s Syndrome typically affects younger women in their twenties and thirties who infrequently pass urine with an intermittent stream. The sensation of urinary urgency which would normally be present with a full bladder is absent although when the bladder if full to capacity, pain and discomfort may be experienced. The patient may then present to A&E unable to pass urine normally and the bladder is then drained via a catheter.
What Are The Symptoms?
The severity of symptoms varies from person to person. Some women experience complete retention while others experience difficulty passing urine with a residual amount left in the bladder.
Urinary infections may be a problem for women suffering from Fowlers Syndrome due to the bladder not emptying properly. Some women may also experience back and suprapubic pain.
What is The Cause?
The cause is as yet unknown and is still being researched.
What Are The Treatments?
For patients who have a small residual volume of urine and can void almost normally no intervention is necessary. However, for those who are retaining large amounts of urine and are suffering from infections and a large bladder, clean intermittent catheterization is suggested.
Some more severely affected women may benefit from sacral nerve stimulation.
For further information, please visit the Fowler’s Syndrome website: http://www.fowlersyndrome.co.uk