Mythbusting Urinary tract infections

A urinary tract infection (UTI), it’s like trying to pee small needles. Most ladies have experienced it at least once in their life and are in fear it will return. Be afraid, be very afraid, because for many it will return.
I count myself lucky that I have only had the unpleasant experience twice in my life and only in a short period of two months. But oh my! Tears were running over my face and that was only because I just sat down and feared what would come. When the terror started it was excruciating to remain seated for five whole seconds. It took me to a new level of respect for the ladies with a recurrent UTI-experience.
What is it with this awful infection? Time for some facts and myths about UTI’s.

1. Fact: Women get infected more often than men

The whole mechanism behind the infection is a Tale of Two Holes. You get UTI’s mostly from bacteria that normally live and belong in your intestines. The most common cause is E. Coli, but there are many more that can make your pee burn. What they do is tiger-crawling from your anus to your bladder. Take a moment to imagine that please, and try not to move! Indeed, that’s quite a distance to cover from a bacterium point of view. And that’s a good thing. Pee before one of the bacteria reaches your bladder, and you wash him away. Yes him, I call this fucker a guy. For women this popular road is shorter than for men. As most of you know, men have a penis that adds about 10 cm to the tract (well, not all of them …) making the odds greater to be washed away. In this case: size does matter!

2. Myth: you can get UTI by sitting on a dirty toilet seat

Nope. Not true. Better yet, the ladies that squad to pee above a “contaminated” seat tend to not empty their bladder fully. Some of the pee stays inside, sometimes with a UTI bacterium that hung in there. Happy with his new fancy jacuzzi, called your bladder, it gladly multiplies, and you end up crying on the toilet seat once more. So please lovely ladies, sit down. Your thighs can hold the germs. Just don’t rub your vaginas on the whole seat, ok? And no, men, don’t go toilet slapping (either), because … well, it ain’t right.

3. Nobody knows for sure: Cranberries can prevent UTI

The idea behind the cranberries is that you change the sourness, the pH, of your urine making it more acidotic. In this acid the “legs” of the bacteria dissolve, making it impossible for them to keep crawling. It’s weird to imagine that something you eat can have an influence on the pH of your pee. A sour cranberry comes in contact with bile first and that is made to neutralize any acid that comes out of the stomach (pretty acid environment going on in your stomach). So this makes you wonder if you can change it enough to have an effect on bacteria. There are others who suggest cranberries work because of anti-oxidants. I tell patients that they can try it, if it doesn’t help, it’s still tasty.

4. Nobody knows for sure continues: peeing after sex, wiping method, drinking

Some things just make sense. If you have sex, all sorts of bacteria get moved from both your and your partners flora and fauna. Peeing afterwards could be a good idea. Wiping from back to front, is like giving the psychotic hitchhiking bacteria a free ride. I don’t know, why would anybody even consider that? And if you drink a lot of water, you pee more often, flushing away bacteria on the road. Don’t think about these thing, just do them.

5. Myth: you can get a UTI by wearing short skirts

My mother was wrong. Yet again. Had I only known sooner that most of the things parents tell their kids are not evidence based. No, a short skirt does not give you a UTI. However, a short skirt might lead to sex causing a UTI, might get you to a place where you refuse to sit down and pee properly … or might make you wipe from back to … nah, forget this last one.

6. Fact: you can die from a UTI

If the bacteria crawl all the way up to your kidneys, it can cause a kidney infection, Pyelonephritis. From here it can enter your bloodstream and make you septic. Sepsis can lead to death. But rest assured, before you die you will probably go to the doctor with fever, pain on your sides and pain while peeing. This will make the doctor give you antibiotics and voila, you don’t die any more. And if you didn’t go to the doctor, well then you are a masochist. I am not judging,… but you will die.

7. Myth: you always need antibiotics to cure from a UTI

For uncomplicated bladder infections, like the one I had, antibiotics are not needed. Even when I was peeing blood as an additional setting to the torture, I knew that all I needed to do was drink lots of fluids and hang – not literally, see 2. – in there. 
If you do want to get antibiotics make sure that your urine is cultured to test for susceptibilities. You might regret not doing it if the antibiotics don’t work and you get the fever and flank pain from your kidney’s.

Ladies – and men, I am still not judging – let’s promise ourselves to wear short skirts, wipe properly, drink a lot of water and have sex as long as we pee afterwards while sitting on the seat.

 

 

Picture:

Source Flood plain toilet
Author Jacob Levine

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s