Experts recommend avoiding this

After respiratory infections, urinary tract infections are the most common. According to the Spanish Society of Nephrology (SEN), 50% of women will develop a UTI in their lifetime. Cystitis is one of these, consisting of inflammation caused by a bacterial infection that travels from the urethra to the bladder.

It is one of the most common UTIs in women, with 70-80% of cases caused by bacteria Escherichia coliIt lives naturally in the gut and, due to its proximity to the anus and urethra, can contaminate urine and cause infections. Although it affects both men and women, women are four times more likely to develop it.

At the first signs of cystitis, the patient is stuck on the toilet and only passes a few small drops of urine despite ingesting a large amount of fluid. And that’s exactly what happens in the summer, when we most want to go outside and enjoy a bath.

Why cystitis occurs frequently in summer

Under normal circumstances, the antimicrobial properties of vaginal discharge and urine kill microorganisms. In the words of Dr. Luis Resel, National Coordinator of the Functional, Female and Urodynamic Urology Group of the Spanish Association of Urology (AEU), “the risk of lower urinary tract infection in women increases twice: in summer and in winter”.

Ressel admits that the reason for the summer has to do with “increased humidity in the genitourinary area due to heat and sweating.” In these cases, “the normal saprophytic flora, which are part of our body and protect us from pathogenic bacteria, may be altered, and pathogenic bacteria may proliferate, spreading from the perineum to the urethra and bladder”, The expert continued.

This can explain why summer is a good breeding ground for the reproduction of urinary tract bacteria. In fact, it’s one of the most common ailments in summer because it’s a triple combination of factors: heat, humidity, and dehydration. We also had to add other possible factors, such as “increased coitus and decreased diuresis due to sweating due to heat,” Ressel said.

Most Common Symptoms of Cystitis

If we had to highlight one symptom when talking about cystitis, it would be itching and tingling when urinating or difficulty urinating. According to Resel, frequent urination is also frequent, which is “increased frequency of urination during the day and night, sometimes with urgency or incontinence,” as well as the occurrence of cloudy urine with a strong odor and color, “albeit at a lesser frequency.” Blood and pain in the lower abdomen (the area where the bladder is) also occurs,” the doctor said.

While it’s usually not the most common scenario, “if there is a fever and severe pain in the upper back, pyelonephritis must be suspected and a trip to the emergency room advised,” Ressel warns.

How to Prevent Cystitis

Although cystitis is more common in the summer and while bathing in the sea and pool, there are ways to prevent it. “The most important defense is adequate fluid intake, about two liters of water per day,” Ressel said.

Some suggestions will also help us:

  • Maintain proper private hygiene, once a day: Using a neutral pH soap, clean the area from front to back and dry well in the same direction. “We cannot abuse excessive hygiene because it may alter the saprophytic flora,” says the urologist.
  • Change into swimsuit after bathing: The humidity left by wet swimsuits is conducive to the growth of microorganisms, especially when we sit in wet swimsuits, which is conducive to the warm environment for microorganisms to grow Escherichia coli.
  • Pay attention to hygiene during sex: Sexual intercourse, especially repeated sexual intercourse, can cause inflammation of the mucous membranes, making the urethra more susceptible to infection. It is essential to practice good hygiene to avoid spreading germs. It should also be noted that certain forms of pregnancy control, such as spermicides and diaphragms, can increase a woman’s risk of UTIs.
  • inability to suppress the urge to urinate: Retaining urine in the bladder also contributes to the formation of bacteria. Therefore, at the slightest urge to pee, we empty our bladders as quickly as possible. Frequent urination (every two or three hours) has the effect of dragging bacteria out. It is also recommended before and after sex.
  • Take cranberry extract daily: “For recurrent infections, we recommend a nightly dose of blueberry concentrate, at least 150 grams, D-mannose, and probiotics.” Some studies suggest that cranberries may help reduce the risk of cystitis, such as this one published in the journal studies Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition According to this, cranberries protect against bacteria Escherichia coli Attaches to the wall of the urethra, thereby helping to prevent infection.

“If these hygienic dietary measures are ineffective, we also have an autoimmune vaccine,” adds urologist Louise Ressel.

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