AimTo report research terminology and definitions for describing healthy bladder function among women and girls.
MethodsThe Prevention of Lower Urinary tract Symptoms (PLUS) Consortium developed research terminology and definitions for elements of healthy bladder function based on existing understanding of storage and emptying functions of the bladder and accepted definitions of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS). The novel concept of a bladder "bioregulatory" function was also proposed. Elements of bladder function corresponding to bladder health (BH) and LUTS were developed and refined using an iterative process. A comprehensive reference table structured by bladder function (Storage, Emptying, and Bioregulatory) and elements of each function was created to document proposed research terminology and definitions.
ResultsThe BH research definitions for each bladder function are: (1) Storage: the ability to hold urine for a reasonable duration of time and sense bladder fullness without fear of or concern about urgency, discomfort or leakage; (2) Emptying: the ability to empty the bladder completely in a timely, efficient, effortless, comfortable manner; and (3) Bioregulatory: the bladder barrier protects the individual/host from pathogens, chemicals, and malignancy. Research definitions for seven Storage, seven Emptying, and three Bioregulatory elements of function are presented. Novel LUTS research definitions were developed when gaps in existing definitions were identified or nonclinical language was desired.
ConclusionsPLUS BH definitions reflect a transdisciplinary approach to standardizing research definitions for elements of bladder function from a perspective of health rather than dysfunction and provide a framework for studying BH in clinical practice, public health promotion, and LUTS prevention.