Urinary Tract Discomfort

It may surprise you to learn that urinary tract discomfort is mentioned as the second most common health problem after the common cold.

Where would you like to start?

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF URINARY TRACT DISCOMFORT ?WHAT ARE THE RISK FACTORS?WHAT CAUSES URINARY TRACT DISCOMFORT?HOW DO I PREVENT URINARY TRACT DISCOMFORT?HOW TO CARE FOR YOURSELF WHEN EXPERIENCING DISCOMFORT

Symptoms

Symptoms of a urinary tract discomfort can include:

  • A burning feeling when you wee
  • A frequent or intense urge to wee, even though little comes out when you do
  • Cloudy, dark, bloody, or strange-smelling wee
  • Feeling tired or shaky

Main causes of urinary tract discomfort

  • Urinary tract discomfort typically occurs when bacteria enter the urinary tract through the urethra (the tube through which urine leaves your bladder) and begin to multiply.
  • Your urinary tract is designed to keep out these microscopic invaders but sometimes its defences fail, and the bacteria may take hold and multiply in the urinary tract.

Risk factors

Gender

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Gender

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Constipation

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Constipation

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Age

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Age

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Intimacy

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Intimacy

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Genetics

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Genetics

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Birth control

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Birth control

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Pregnancy

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Pregnancy

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Medical conditions

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Medical conditions

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Menopause

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Menopause

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How do I prevent urinary tract discomfort?

Drink enough water

Dehydration can place undue stress on your immune system. When your immune system cannot function properly, bacteria that would otherwise have been flushed out, may multiply in the urinary tract4b. Drink plenty of water especially before and after cycling or if you take certain medicines such as antihistamines, antipsychotics, decongestants, and anticholinergic.

Avoid or reduce your intake of certain food additives

Certain food additives can give bacteria a helping hand for growth inside the bladder. Your urinary tract may be affected by certain additives like:

  • caffeine
  • sugar
  • alcohol
  • preservatives like citric acid and phosphoric acid.

Maintain your pH levels

Choose showers over baths1j and avoid using products that can irritate the tissues inside your intimate area such as:

  • scented soaps
  • bubble baths
  • bath oils5b

Remember:

Good bacteria help to maintain the ideal pH level to keep harmful bacteria at bay. If this balance is disrupted, bacteria can grow and find their way to your bladder, increasing the risk of discomfort5a,b.

Wear cotton underwear and loose-fitting clothes

Tight clothes, nylon lingerie and tight underwear can trap bacteria as well as act as a super-highway for bacteria from your bottom to your intimate areas1f,14d.

Go to the loo as often as you need to

Go to the loo as often as you feel the need to wee. Don’t rush and be sure you have emptied your bladder1g.

Caring for yourself when you have urinary tract discomfort

Tips to help you get the rest you need:

  • Avoid alcohol, coffee, soft drinks that contain caffeine and citrus juice. These tend to irritate your bladder and can worsen the urgency and frequency of needing to go to the loo.
  • Drink less/fewer fluids before you go to bed.
  • Wearing incontinence pads or pants can help to lessen the worry.
  • Use a hot water bottle or heating pad to warm your bladder area to minimise bladder discomfort and pressure.
  • Completely empty your bladder before you go bed.

Your answer to urinary tract discomfort