One of the common and constant complaints I hear at prostate cancer support groups is about the need to wake during the night and use the bathroom to urinate (nocturia). There is a relationship between our ageing and the need to urinate at night, but it does seem to be made even more acute if we are fighting advanced prostate cancer.
According to Medwire, research recently published in the International Journal of Urology “indicates that low testosterone levels are associated with nocturia in men, independent of both age and prostate volume.”
Investigators studied nearly 2,200 men “who attended their outpatient urologic clinic between July 2011 and August 2012 for lower urinary tract symptom complaints.” The researchers found that “overall, 148 (6.8%) patients had overt testosterone deficiency (<2.50 ng/mL) and 1399 (63.7%) reported voiding more than once during the night (nocturia) on 3-day frequency volume charts.”This research focused on men who have experienced lower testosterone for any cause and at any decreased testosterone levels. Give that all of us fighting advanced prostate cancer are on hormone deprivation therapy (ADT) that drives our testosterone levels to castrate levels its no wonder that we also deal with significant levels of nocturia. Waking up during the night is just one more thing we need to accept in our new normal.Joel T. Nowak, M.A., M.S.W.
Well, I’ve been trying to blame my at least two times up overnight to more relieve the slight ache in my bladder than the real need to urinate. However, the release of what is always only a small amount, does relax the bladder and I can get back to sleep or at least lay relaxed until I eventually (hopefully) dose off. Been through all urethra/bladder tests finding that my bladder muscles as well as urethra muscles are hardly functioning, so I also am resigned to total incontinence (best to accept than to grumble about it). Doc says trying a sling or even an artificial sphincter could be more a problem than worth doing…(I think he was looking at my age of 81 than at whether my health could handle either). I always look at the bright side of continuing to exist on this earth, and having optimism provides me much better “feeling” of health rather than lamenting.
I’ve suffered Nocturia for as long as I’ve been on ADT which is about 4 years.
My oncologist prescribes a nasal spray called “Desmopressin” which works very well. I take one puff before going to bed. I’m afraid I don’t know if it is available in the USA.
All the best
Nasal Desmopressin is available in the United States. It is usually used to control the symptoms of some types of diabetes insipidus (‘water diabetes’; condition in which the body produces an abnormally large amount of urine). Nasal desmopressin is also used to control excessive thirst and the passage of an abnormally large amount of urine that may occur after a head injury or after certain types of surgery. One brand of Desmopressin nasal spray (Stimate®) which is used to stop bleeding in bleeding disorders. Desmopressin is a hormone (not to be confused with testosterone which also is a hormone. It works by replacing vasopressin, a hormone that is normally produced in the body to help balance the amount of water and salt. – Joel
Good reading. I need the study source written above with nearly 2200 patients.
Thanks a lot.
Oncologist, Karolinska Hospital