According to scientists at University College London, patients can sometimes benefit from antibiotics, even if urine tests come back negative for infection.
The researchers studied 440 patients between 2003 and 2010, all of whom had been diagnosed with overactive bladder syndrome.
They found that patients who received antibiotics alongside anti-muscarinics and bladder retraining typically showed significant improvements over the course of the study.
Those who started antibiotics later in the study period took longer to recover than those who started antibiotics straight away.
Presenting their findings at the annual meeting of the International Continence Society in Glasgow, the study authors concluded: “The data are strong justification for a large-scale randomised, placebo controlled trial of antibiotic use in patients with overactive bladder, pyuria (the presence of pus in the urine), but negative urine culture.”