The urinary bladder is a storage sac for urine, it has the ability to change shape from triangular to ovoid as it bulges upwards into the abdomen. It empties through a tube called the urethra and other parts of this drainage system include the kidneys and ureters connecting into the back of the bladder.
Did you know that 50-60% of women report having a UTI, or urinary tract infection at some point in their life? UTI’s are so common that we neglect to think that recurrent infections are harmful for the entire urinary system.
Recurrent UTI’s are mainly caused by reinfection of the same pathogen. They are the most common medical complication during pregnancy and E. coli is responsible for > 80% of all UTI’s.
It’s important that all pregnant woman are screened for UTI’s at their first prenatal visit and during the third trimester.
Here are a few secrets…
- Hydrate with water and make sure you are keeping it inside your body! Diuretics such as caffeine, alcohol, chocolate and fizzy drinks make you urinate frequently and dehydrate you.
- The obvious things: wipe from front to back and empty after sex.
- Keeping vaginal pH to a norm by wearing cotton underwear and staying away from irritating feminine products. Do not douche!
- D-mannose has also been found to help prevent UTI’s.
If you start to show any signs of a UTI like:
- Pain or burning with urination
- Fever, tired or shaky
- Bladder urgency and frequency (a strong urge to go, even though only a little comes out)
- Lower back or abdominal pain
- Urine that smells bad, looks cloudy or has blood in it
Then start with this “Home Remedy”
Measure 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda to 4 oz filtered water
3 times per day until symptoms subside…if symptoms get worse within 24-48 hours then you need to see a doctor for urine analysis and you may need to take antibiotics.
If you can, try to avoid taking antibiotics, they can destroy the body’s natural defenses. Be smart, situations are sometimes unavoidable. Listen to your own body!
As a women’s health physical therapist…
UTI’s are a concern, infection creates scar tissue, and this scar tissue organizes itself in such a way that shortens the urethra, preventing urethral lengthening and compromising it’s function. A recent pilot study by Brown and Ross, showed a correlation between a shortened urethra and urinary leakage in women aged 32-47 years old. Incontinence will be a great topic for next time!