What’s the cause?
Urinary tract infections (UTI’s) can affect the bladder, which can show as cystitis, the urethra and also the kidneys. The most common cause is often as simple as not observing good toilet hygiene so that bacteria are transferred from the anus when wiping. That’s why it is important to wipe both areas separately, and not from back to front. After bowel movements, always wipe from front to back and wash area with soap and water afterward.
Men do get urinary tract infections too, but women have at least ten times their number.
There are a number of commonly seen symptoms and you can have more than one at the same time.
They can include:
• blood in urine
• cloudy urine mixed with discharged mucus material from the urethra
• frequent urge to urinate, even with small amounts of urine in the bladder
• burning or stinging when urinating
• painful sexual intercourse
Some people are more at risk than others of continuous UTI’s such as those who suffer from kidney stones, having multiple sexual partners, catheter users and others who are immobilized for long periods.
Also if you are on frequent antibiotic then this can produce an immunity and the bacteria becomes increasingly resistant, making a change of medication necessary.
Treatment and prevention
Normally your doctor will prescribe short term antibiotics which usually clear up the problem within two to three days but there are also some natural methods that can be helpful.
- If it is very painful, then a hot bath can help relieve it
- Natural treatment can include drinking cranberry and blueberry juices as they have been shown to prevent and treat urinary tract infections successfully. Cranberry in particular inhibits bacterial growth on the walls of the bladder.
- What is most important is that you drink plenty of water to help flush out the bacteria because bacteria cannot reproduce in the urinary tract where there is frequent urination.
- If you are a regular sufferer, then trying having parsley more often as it may also help to dispose of harmful bacteria and it increases urination naturally.
- Don’t resist the urge to pee, go as soon as you feel you need to and again drink plenty of water afterwards to keep the urinary tract flushed out.
- Clean yourself thoroughly after each toilet visit, but also after sex and make sure you empty your bladder immediately afterwards.
- If you are being treated for a urinary infection then avoid caffeine, alcohol and sexual activity as they can aggravate the condition.
The hormonal effect
Progesterone also plays several roles in preventing vaginal and urinary tract infections. When progesterone is restored to normal physiological levels and hormones come back into balance, then vaginal lubrication returns and this reduces the impact of urinary tract infections.
Also progesterone is part of our immune defense system that prevents such infections. It does this by aiding in the formation of secretory IgA, an immune globulin that traps germs before they enter mucosal tissues such as those found in the vagina and thus again helping prevent urinary tract infections.