monthly bladder infections.... - Mothering Forums
Women's Health > monthly bladder infections....
MamaSoleil's Avatar MamaSoleil 11:25 AM 08-29-2002
Hi there,

wondering if anyone here has any suggestions for preventing and treating bladder infections....or even know why some people are more susceptible to them...
I have had infections about 6 times in the last 8 mts....last month it was so painful that I went to the hospital and agreed to take antibiotics...I drink about 2 cups of cranberry juice/day, and also take cranberry capsules (500mg/day).

any other ideas??? I'm TTC, and last night had to pee so bad in the middle of the night, I was excited...thought it was a pg symptom...but no, yet another bladder infection...this can cause permanent dammage I'm sure, I'm worried and in pain!


Sumobabe's Avatar Sumobabe 11:32 AM 08-29-2002
Are you sure you're drinking enough liquid? When I had my last UTI, the ER doctor told me that one of the primary causes of UTIs in women is dehydration. You might try increasing your liquid intake (avoiding sugary liquids) and see if that helps.

If you're hydrated *and* taking the cranberry pills and that isn't taking care of it, you might need to see your M.D. or a urologist. It could be that you have an antibiotic-resistant strain of bacteria, or their could be something else going on that it would take a doctor to discover. Six UTIs in eight months is really a high number; it could also be one UTI that flared up 6 times because it never really went away.

Good luck.


Edited to add: You probably know already that you should wipe from front to back when you go to the bathroom (or from girlie parts to your bottom, as I describe it to my potty-training 2 year old), and that you should especially be sure to urinate after having sex.
rainsmom 01:16 PM 08-29-2002
Also, pee BEFORE sex too! Id be carring a bottle of water CONSTANTLY with me! Especially if you breast feed or drink coffee.

I would also make sure the cranberry juice is sugar free and not a mix of different juices (crangrape, etc). Do you know not to drink cranberry juice while on antibiotics? It will counteract them!
rainsmom 01:31 PM 08-29-2002
One more thought.....are you using tampons? Wondering if there's any connection there. Or a diaphram? That's what was doing it for me when I was in my 20s.
valeria_vi's Avatar valeria_vi 05:03 PM 08-29-2002
i am not sure how true this is, so don't just take my word on it, but i had read somewhere that using spermicide might also increase your chance of uti.
rainsmom 05:43 PM 08-29-2002
right now, I think anything you stick in there could be a culprit!

MamaSoleil's Avatar MamaSoleil 07:19 PM 08-29-2002
I don't use tampons or spermicide....I use a keeper...I think I'm dehydrated....I'm the sweat queen, so I need to drink extra water...will try it for a while!
thx for the suggestions!

adinal's Avatar adinal 03:26 AM 08-30-2002
Hey there - I have had so many bladder infections - like in the 20-30 range - i developed a hatred of cranberry juice when i was young.

1. Juice works better than the pills cuase of the liquid intake - also less time for your body to process the good stuff.

2. Sleep with no undies on. (I haven't slept with undies on since I was 6) Only cotton undies too.

3. Lots of water.

4. Vitamin C - 1000 on a reg basis helps keep them at bay.

5. Wash with soap every shower down there.

6. anything foreign can cause irritation. Lotion, condoms, get the idea.

7. avoid tight clothes in hot weather.

8. what usually lets you know that one is coming on is a urinary tract irritation.
tampons and anything inserted can cause this irritation - especially if you have a then wall btw you vagina and your urethra (think where your g spot is) So even the keeper can rub on this spot and create an irritation. I have found that tampon for me can sometimes cause an irritation.

9. last resort - ask you doc to prescribe you some antibiotics to keep at home - low dose that you can take to kill it before it gets started. especially if you have sex a lot (ttc!) I had a big ol bottle of them for a while when i was having a lot of problems - and it was nice to not have to rush to the doc whenever I felt one starting.

10. don't hold it. Pee when you first feel the urge - not a hour later.

hope that helped. Let me know if you have any other questions.
MamaSoleil's Avatar MamaSoleil 12:06 PM 08-30-2002
Ardinal: thx soo much...I just printed off your reply to post in my room....I feel they start after dh and I did the BD extra passionatly...
I rarely sleep with undies too, I do a lot of biking, and in the summer months even my undies are drenched in sweat...this could probably be a bad thing too eh?
Aolwife: My AF isn't usually too bad...We've been TTC for about 6 mts now....and the UTI usually comes before AF, after we BD for 5 days straight....
Should I maybe be tested for endometriosis? Today, it seems better...maybe dormant for the moment...
I am relieved to hear others who have been through this.

Kim's Avatar Kim 04:54 PM 09-06-2002

I have been there! Remember crying out of desperation after having UTI's followed by yeast infections from the antibiotic treatments. Endless cycle.

My last UTI was while TTC our dd. Before that I had UTI's almost once a month for 4 years. I tried everything and saw a urologist who prescribed a low dose antibiotic to be taken every day.

Adina posted a great list. I'll add to that...

Drink *at least* a gallon of water a day. It may seem difficult at first but soon you'll be addicted. If you aren't using the bathroom every 30-60 minutes, step up the water. Your urine should look almost clear.

Try to lower your stress in any way possible. Stress lowers your resistance to infections. Enjoy a cup of tea, sit back and relax! Oh, and get as much sleep as possible. I know this is something we all strive for, but when you are infection-prone it is very important.

Cut out all refined sugars from your diet. This was tough for me, but made a huge difference. Drink cranberry juice (Knudsen's is great) that has no sugar added. No juice cocktails!) It's very bitter tasting - I liked to mix it with ice and water to dilute. Added to fizzy water and it extra special.

Urinate before *and* after sex. This shouldn't be a problem if you're drinking enough water. Also, wash with warm water and mild soap after sex. Women's urethra's are very short -- bacteria can travel in there very quickly.

If all else fails, do the low-dose antibiotic. I started out taking it every day, but then soon started only taking it after sex. All in all, I was probably on it for 6 months. Talk to your midwife about the effects on the fetus. It is probably not a problem, though. I took it to handle the infection I got after TTC and they assured me it wouldn't harm the baby.

Good luck to you!!!
bluedotsmom's Avatar bluedotsmom 06:49 PM 09-06-2002
one more thought. your dh also needs to be checked too. he may have something that's not causing him trouble, but is reinfecting you.

so, along with the wonderful advice you've received, you should have dh checked out too.
adinal's Avatar adinal 06:52 PM 09-06-2002
The other thing that I forgot to put on the list...

Hyland's makes a good homeopathic Bladder Irritation medicine.
I have been using it for about a year now and it is great - fell it coming on and pop some of them under your tongue and boom - gone!!!!

Good luck.
waitress2's Avatar waitress2 03:15 PM 09-12-2002
It was interesting that you mentioned sugar. There might be a link there between the infections and the amount of your sugar intake. I noticed that on days that I ate a "normal" american processed food diet (most of my life) that I would have to wake up many times at night to use the bathroom. Now that I eat a mostly unprocessed food diet (we use unrefined sugars when I need some sweetness) I notice that my trips to the bathroom at night have been cut in half.

Check your food labels for hidden sugars such as: dextrose and corn syrup. Also low- fat foods usually have tons of sugars in them to improve their taste.

Worth looking into.

Good Luck!
MamaSoleil's Avatar MamaSoleil 12:28 AM 09-13-2002
I am taking so much comfort in the words of experience I've heard here.
Thank you all for taking the time to help me. I have only had two bad days last month..I'm starting a new cycle...The homeopathic remedies I've found seem to be helping, I've also followed the advice of drinking a gallon of water/day...At first, I thought I'd explode, but now...I love it. I've also gotten back into tai-chi and yoga, and feeling active feels great!
My new job has been stressful, and not so great for my body, I went from waitressing in a busy beautiful restaurant, to sitting on my butt for 12 hrs straight...somehow, I missed the impact it had on my body.
So, getting back into healthy living, feels good. I think my body is thankful right now!
I will keep you sisters posted. Still TTC, but trying to do it low key...when it happens, I'll be extatic, but till then, I'm trying to put it out of my mind. Letting the energy flow through me, enjoying dd...enjoying life.

T....sorry about that...I'm just going thru a crossroad here, and really feel the bladder infections were my body telling me to
CHILL OUT, get healthy and enjoy life...

Peace, love and harmony,

Mystic's Avatar Mystic 09:07 AM 09-13-2002
I'm just going to add my 2 cents too.

I have a friend with recurring UTIs. Her urologist thinks its because she has a very short urethra, therefore, it never clears itself totally, allowing bacteria to grow. She will undergo treatment for this (but I'm not sure what the treatment is).

If you take antibiotics, make sure to take a good probiotic with it. You don't need to kill off the good flora that keeps you healthy.

Consider seeing a naturopath. They can help you work on building up your immune system and preventing these from happening again. Someone else I know had recurring UTIs and they were caused by a lowgrade, undiagnosed yeast infection. She went on a low-yeast/sugar diet and it really did the trick to clear it up for her for good.

Hope you find the answer for you. Best of health.
Clarity's Avatar Clarity 06:00 PM 09-13-2002
I used to get them after sex and after my period. Going to only cottony disposable pads or now cloth, really helped or once in a while using a very very thin tampon. Had to stop all spermicide use. And it turns out sperm is one of the triggers! If I pee, rinse or maybe douche a tiny tiny little bit with plain water or vinegar and water. Ruins the mood since I jump up right after sex (waiting a few extra minutes when TTC.) I found waiting 5-10 minutes was enough. Sometimes I run about 1-2 inches of water in the tub and splash, or use the handheld shower to rinse. Just peeing is not enough, because I would get a yeast and a UTI. They were somehow related, which is why I decided that the sperm itself seemed to be involved, not just trauma to the urethra. (maybe due to a change in PH?) And yes, DH was treated with no effect.

I quibble a little bit about soap. NO soap directly for me. Water, or a lightly soaped hand on the outside of the labia only. Way too irritating to mess with things too much. I usually drank cranberry liquid concentrate in water (cheaper and no sugar) or a large squeeze bottle with an entire lemon in it, plus extra lemon concentrate, as much as I could stand without sugar. I like sour things though. A cheap way to get extra acid when I was broke...the lemons were cheaper than supplements with more immediate effect.

I agree about trying the other probiotic, diet and naturopathic methods...for many of my repeated infections it was clear that regular medication was not getting totally rid of it, just tamping it down to recurr later. Use of cranberry/lemon etc as SOON as I felt bad, plus change in habits, eventually they tapered off and I have not had one in a few years. I didn't know about things like sugar, etc.

I hope you figure things out!
Momtwice's Avatar Momtwice 07:22 PM 09-13-2002
Wow, I am really impressed by all the knowledge here!

Since this IS the Mothering site I thought I would mention something more new-agey. Christiane Northrup, OB/writer
feels that urinary issues often have their roots in angry feelings. The idea is that something that we are very angry about can make us feel "pissed off" symbolically and can be a part of the picture if we have urinary problems. Something to consider.
chevy974's Avatar chevy974 03:16 PM 09-14-2002
USe to have the same problem And mine was taking a bath was giving them to me so now only take showers. NO bath and if you do want to take a bath dont wash sitting in the water NO bubbles of any kind. NAd as most others have said LOTS LOTS LOTS water. Watch even washing with soap on you genital area I get bothered by that also. I am also very suspetibale.
mamabee's Avatar mamabee 06:34 PM 09-14-2002
just curious, but what does a blaader infection Look like? it's been 9 and a half weeks since ds was born, and i went in for a post partum check last week...midwife told me i looked red around my urethra, but at the time i hadn't felt discomfort, now i think i do. it feels sore around there. i have also beeb battling a yeast infection..i finally looked down there, and it doesn't just look red around the urethra, it looks like blood? is that a bladder infection?
MamaSoleil's Avatar MamaSoleil 02:26 AM 09-15-2002

I don't know what it looks like, just know what it feels like, pain..always feel like you have to pee, then when you do, it hurts like &$^%$ right after...and there's usually a little blood in the urine.
I do feel anger has a lot to do with it...I've had a lot of that lately. 1:live with fil, who drives me up the wall...have made some decisions, to lessen the anger and built up resentment
2:have only needed caregiver for 8 mts, and have already put dd in 3 diff places, now without one, feeling like nobody can do the job right!(other than me or dh) still haven't resolved that one.

Taking my anger out thru excercise, which feels GREAT! and drinking lots of water and cranberry juice!!!!

WIth heartfelt thanks,

ksmeadowlark's Avatar ksmeadowlark 10:49 PM 09-15-2002
I am late joining in on this thread, but I wanted to add that my mom and I both are very prone to UTIs, and they started when I became sexually active (like the day after, UGH!) I finally went to a urologist bc I was also getting them so often, and he also mentioned the short urethra dilemma (sounds like it is genetic in our case). Another thing that has caused UTIs for me is bubble bath liquid. No more bubbles for me, kind of sad since I loved them so!!!

When I feel one coming on, I get weird cramps in my abdomen, and think it is indigestion at first, but after a couple of hours I realize what it is. I carry an antibiotic in my bag all the time. The wonderful thing is that I have not had a UTI since I became pg with DS and he is now 15 mo. Diet may have something to do with it too, since I have eating more healthily and am not as stressed out about life in general...

GL to all you mammas still suffering, I know what it is like!!!
gilnikche's Avatar gilnikche 03:56 AM 09-16-2002
Originally posted by newmama
just curious, but what does a blaader infection Look like? it's been 9 and a half weeks since ds was born, and i went in for a post partum check last week...midwife told me i looked red around my urethra, but at the time i hadn't felt discomfort, now i think i do. it feels sore around there. i have also beeb battling a yeast infection..i finally looked down there, and it doesn't just look red around the urethra, it looks like blood? is that a bladder infection?
Sounds like classic yeast infection (this from a veteran of many). With bladder infections, one usually feels definite painful cramps & burning with urination. If I am drinking way too much soda, I get this. I also keep Mycelex cream on hand! Are you using meds for it? When I get the OTC meds for it; I get the vaginal suppositories with the external cream. The cream will help with the soreness & burning almost right away.