This condition has been previously seen only in men after excessive alcohol intake. The two patients presented themselves at the hospital with symptoms consistent with urinary infection (sepsis) and so they were initially treated with antibiotics and rehydration.
In the third woman's case, initially the doctors suspected appendicitis because of the localisation of the pain. But after further investigation, bladder rupture was confirmed in all the three women and they underwent surgery to repair the bladder. The report stated that in all the cases, diuresis i.e. increased discharge of urine and the dulling effect of alcohol, without the relief of bladder voiding, could be the cause of the damage.
As for the further explanation, the researchers said that alcohol consumption increased the volume of urine held within the bladder and dulled the senses such that the patient had a reduced urge to void despite the increased bladder volume. Minor trauma, such as from a fall, will further increase the pressure and can cause rupture.
The team suggested that with the increase in alcohol consumption in women today, the complications previously seen only in men should now also be considered.
The study is reported in the British Medical Journal.