How To Handle Problems With Female Waterworks
Bladder problems that many women have to endure with discomfort, embarrassment and even pain include cystitis and urinary incontinence. Cystitis is inflammation of the bladder caused by an infection or irritation known as a lower urinary tract infection (UTI). But if the infection goes higher (up to your ureters or kidneys), this can be a more serious illness and is known as an upper urinary tract infection.
1 in 3 women get cystitis before they reach their mid twenties
- A stinging or burning sensation when you pass urine along with the urge to pass urine more frequently, although sometimes there is very little or no urine to pass.
- Cloudy or dark colored urine.
- Pain or discomfort in your lower back or lower stomach area.
- A general feeling of being unwell.
When treated, this painful condition usually clears up within 4 to 9 days
You can help it on its way by:
- Adding a teaspoon of bicarb to a glass of water, dissolving it and drinking 3 or 4 times a day before meals so that it is taken on an empty stomach. This neutralizes the acidity in the urine. Alternatively, you can take citrus soda available from your local pharmacy or health store but I have found that the bicarb works well. If you can find it, rather use aluminium-free bicarbonate of soda.
- Making sure you drink enough fluids to help flush out the infection, preferably some 6 to 8 glasses of pure, filtered water.
- If you suffer some pain and need to take a pain reliever, paracetamol is a good choice.
What are the severe symptoms?Such severe symptoms are set out below when your doctor who will probably prescribe a course of antibiotics to clear up the infection.
- Blood in your urine.
- You are pregnant.
- You have a high temperature, feel sick or are vomiting.
- You have severe pain in your lower back or abdomen.
- The cystitis keeps coming back.
- You have other problems with your urinary system such as kidney stones or difficulty emptying your bladder.
- You suffer from diabetes.
Avoid future outbreaks with the help of cranberry juice
The juice should be pure cranberry juice (with no added sugar or artificial sweeteners). Alternatively, take capsules containing 200mg of cranberry extract daily.
Other preventative ways include: passing urine after having sex; increasing your fluid intake; wearing loose, cotton clothing and underwear; after going to the toilet, wiping front to back, not back to front; and passing urine as soon as you feel the need to instead of waiting.
Almost in complete contrast to the problem of cystitis is "not being able to hold in urine" and more than 50% of all women deal with frequent urination.
Reasons for this can include ageing, hormonal changes, pregnancy, childbirth itself, diabetes or even overdoing it during physical workouts. Fortunately there are several ways to improve this problem:
- Kegels are special exercises that strengthen the pelvic floor and the sphincter muscles and making them a part of your daily routine can help many women with stress incontinence. Slow kegel is where you squeeze and hold for 5 seconds and then relax. Repeat this 10 times in a row (this should take about 50 seconds). Slow contractions help to increase the strength of your pelvic floor. Fast or quick kegel is where you rapidly squeeze and release the muscles of the vagina 10 times in a row. Fast contractions help your pelvic floor to cope with pressure such as when you sneeze, cough or laugh. Aim for at least three sets of 10 repetitions a day. You might make a practice of fitting in a set every time you do a routine task, such as checking email, commuting to work, preparing meals or watching TV.
- Everyone needs to drink plenty of liquids especially pure filtered water but be aware that after drinking a lot, you will be more likely to need to urinate so just sip slowly throughout the day instead. There are certain drinks, foods and substances that you should avoid that can add to the problem and these include caffeine, sodas, all artificial sweeteners, alcohol, tomatoes and citrus.
- Vitamin D and its importance crops up constantly but there is a strong link between incontinence and low vitamin D levels and sadly, most of the Western world are vitamin D deficient. The best thing is to have a blood test either through a lab in your area or you can obtain a test kit online – it is called the 25 hydroxy D test. If you are low (below 40 ng/ml) then take 8 000 IU s of vitamin D3 daily for at least 3 months and then test again. At the same time, get out into the direct sunlight, exposing as much skin as possible between the hours of 10 am and 2 pm for at least 20 minutes daily or until your skin starts to turn pink. The darker your skin tone, the longer you need in the sun to benefit. Aim to increase your vitamin D levels to at least 75 ng/ml for optimum health benefits including bladder control problems.
- Keep a record of any or all occasions when you have bladder control problems so that you can look for a pattern.
- Be aware that some prescription medications (blood pressure drugs for example) have side effects that can lead to incontinence.
If you still cannot improve the situation in spite of these measures, have a check up and chat with your doctor as to the latest medical and surgical measures.