There is scientific evidence to suggest a correlation between hypoxia and the physiology of micturition. During a Himalayan Scientific and Mountaineering Expedition, we performed tests to investigate the functional interactions between altitude hypoxia and uroflowmetry parameters in women. The tests were carried out in seven women (36.3 ± 7.1 yr) from normoxic [1,340 meters above sea level (m a.s.l.)] to hypoxic conditions (up to 5,050 m a.s.l.) and during the return descent. The following measures were determined: uroflowmetry parameters and saturation of peripheral oxygen (SpO2). As expected, SpO2 decreased from 97.7 to 77.8% with increasing altitude. Micturition flow time, flow volume, and voiding time increased with altitude (P < 0.04 for all), indicating a negative correlation with SpO2. In conclusion, in young adult women, micturition physiological parameters were affected during adaptation to hypoxia; the correlation with SpO2 strongly suggests a role of hypoxia in these changes. These data could help to support the design of new strategies for both prevention and medical treatment. An example of the latter might be hyperbaric oxygen therapy, which in some studies has proved able to reduce the symptoms in patients with hypoxic bladder.
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