Urinary and Pelvic Symptoms in Fibromyalgia

pelvic and urinary symptoms in fibromyalgia

It is common for fibromyalgia patients to complain of urinary and pelvic symptoms. Fibromyalgia patients can also struggle with several different kinds of pelvic symptoms and urinary disorders such as bladder incontinence, painful sexual intercourse and high urinary frequency.

If you are suffering from fibromyalgia and show any of the above-mentioned symptoms, do not be embarrassed to inform your doctor. The pain and discomfort can be minimized through medication.

Types of Urinary and Pelvic Symptoms in Fibromyalgia

As mentioned, there are various types of urinary and pelvic symptoms in fibromyalgia patients. Although they are common in women, they also affect some men. Patients who are above 50 years old are more likely to suffer from these pelvic symptoms and urinary problems. It is important that you accurately describe your symptoms to your doctor. This way, you will be given the best possible treatment.

Urinary Frequency

Abdominal bloating and urinary frequency are the most common pelvic and urinary symptoms in fibromyalgia. This is especially true among women. These symptoms make the patient feel the need to urinate more frequently.
Some fibromyalgia patients can feel the need to urinate every 20 minutes. Urinary frequency disrupts sleeping patterns and can worsen fatigue and pain in fibro patients.

Urinary Urgency

Another symptom that is common in fibromyalgia patients is urinary urgency. This symptom often coincides with urinary tract infection and urinary frequency.
Urinary urgency refers to the urgent need to urinate. This urge often takes patients by surprise, causing them to scramble for a bathroom visit. It also disrupts sleep, causing patients to wake up suddenly in the middle of the night. In more severe cases, urinary urgency can prevent people from leaving their home and disrupts their daily life.


Dyspareunia refers to the discomfort or pain that one feel during sexual intercourse. It can lead to extreme pain making sex impossible. Just like incontinence, most patients avoid discussing it with their health care providers. However, dyspareunia can make fibromyalgia management even more difficult. Moreover, this condition can sometimes cause a strain in relationships. Thus, if you suffer from dyspareunia, it is important that you talk to your doctor about it.


Chronic dysuria is also another common complaint in fibromyalgia patients. Both men and women suffer from this condition. Unfortunately, the causes are usually unknown. Dysuria happens when one feels a burning sensation when urinating. Additionally, the condition can also be accompanied by pain in the abdomen.

Treating Urinary and Pelvic Symptoms

Since urinary and pelvic symptoms affect your life negatively, it is important to treat your symptoms as soon as possible. Do not feel embarrassed to talk to your doctor about these symptoms. Most doctors would have seen these problems many times and will therefore have the experience to make these discussions less uncomfortable.

For urinary incontinence, urgency and frequency, there are plenty of treatments available. The most effective treatments are those that require physical therapy. Medications may be prescribed as well. If there is an infection, your doctor may recommend certain medications to treat the infection. Surgery is also an option for those suffering from urinary incontinence and urinary urgency.


  • What about botox treatment for bladder incontinence when all other treatments and medications have failed?

  • A lot of fibro patients have undiagnosed interstitial cystitis which causes the pain, frequency, and urgency described in the article. Treatment is to avoid acidic foods, foods that have tyramine (avocado, bananas, chocolate,…), take the supplement quercetin, and for severe cases there’s bladder instillation treatments available by urogynocologists and urologists who specialize in treatment for the interstitial cystitis. The newer instillations have anti-inflammatory medicines mixed with pain medicine, and are better than the DMSO previously used (DMSO is very painful).

    • I appreciate what you’ve said. I seem to have everything but cancer. I also had my gall bladder removed of which I regret because I can neither hold my urine because of IC nor my bowels. I’m forty-eight now being forced to wear diapers especially around my menstrual when both challeges are at their worse.

  • I suffer from fibromyalgia/ myofacial pain and interstitial cystitis. I have learned a lot from this page. I am in a study for IC and just had neck surgery and trigger point injections in my trap muscles. They helped. For IC follow a strict diet. Thank you for the added info:)

  • I have suffered for 29+ yrs with fibro. Never had any problems with infections. Then 10 yrs ago, the pain was more than child birth. They kept telling me, UTI. Just kept getting worst. Finally they did a scope, biopsy and had bladder cancer. Was treated and was told it was gone. A yr later, blood and extreme pain. Another scope, a different kind of bladder cancer. Very deadly one. It was in the lymph nodes. Was told I would not survive this cancer. They removed the bladder and the nodes. Had a great doctor who did everything he could do. Went on a special diet, did extreme chemo. In July, I will have survived 10 yrs. I feel blessed. Never did smoke or other things to cause this kind of cancer. Always wondered if it was from fibro

    • I too was being treated for bladder infections and since I had never had bladder infections I went on my own to a urologist and discovered I also had cancer. I’ve been cancer free for five years now but have to get scoped every year for ten years.

  • My wife has had FM for 6 to 7 years now. She has burning sensations in her legs and arms& of course pain. Her other problem is that she has no sex drive what so ever. Her libido has completely gone and has for almost 5 years. Have you seen this problem before and if so is there an answer?

    • Jeb, your wife’s symptoms are very common. My spouse and I have really have to make a conscious and continuous effort to keep emotional and physical intimacy in our relationship. Pain can strain even the best of nonsexual relationships, and throwing sex in can be like throwing a match onto gasoline. She probably hurts and sex probably hurts – before, during and after. Physical intimacy can feel like you’re being tortured. I recommend seeing a sex therapist together – someone who specializes in working with couples dealing with chronic pain that is a barrier to intimacy. It is a difficult and sometimes uncomfortable thing to deal with, but you have to keep creative and compassionate to re-ignite the spark!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *