Pains when passing water, an increased urge to pass water and frequent visits to the toilet can be signs of bladder inflammation. The risk of acquiring bladder inflammation at some point in one’s life is 50 percent in women, of whom 25 percent suffer a relapse. Risk factors for recurrence include frequent sex, new partners, use of spermicides for contraception, short perineum, familial clustering and bowel incontinence. Additional risk factors during menopause include local oestrogen deficiency, genital prolapse, incontinence and incomplete bladder emptying.
If there are no symptoms, then bacteria found in the urine rarely need to be treated, for example during pregnancy, prior to urinary tract surgeries or in certain pre-existing conditions.
When there are symptoms, one might begin with an anti-inflammatory such as Ibuprofen and only if symptoms are persistent, or additional ones such as flank pains, fever and chills develop, would one proceed to antibiotics.
Above all, when urinary tract infections are recurrent, one should always confirm the bacteria involved by laboratory culture. There is a series of measures for prevention of urinary tract infections, whose use is not proven but which are also not damaging. These include emptying the bladder after sex, wiping from front to back not the other way around, the avoidance of synthetic underwear, douching of the genitalia following bowel movement with a PET-bottle and the avoidance of saunas etc.
What has been proven are the prophylactic effects of local hormone therapy, consumption of prescription-free D-Mannose, which can reduce the frequency of urinary tract infections by up to 60 percent, vaccination against the bacterium E. Coli as well as antibiotic prophylaxis, whether long term or following sexual intercourse.
The use of cranberry preparations is still open. It is reasonable to try it out though. The same applies to vitamin C and probiotics.
Source: Bladder inflammation – Knowing what helps, Consultation Dr. Stutz, Nr. 03.2016