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Bladder infections - the nitty gritty details

Did you know that at least 56% of women will have a urinary tract infection (UTI) in their lifetime, and for many these often recur? The most common UTI is an infection of the bladder.

Although urine itself is sterile, the proximity of the urethra to the anus means that harmful bacteria can easily reach the bladder. Various factors also predispose a woman to bladder infections. These include sexual intercourse, a vaginal infection, the use of certain contraceptives and the use of antibiotics (as these cause bacterial imbalances in the vagina and gastrointestinal tract).

Common symptoms of a bladder infection include frequent, painful urination; pressure and pain over the bladder area; a slight fever; urine that smells strongly of fish or ammonia; a bloody vaginal discharge and lower back pain.

How to get rid of a bladder infection

It’s important to clear up your bladder infection, as it could spread to a kidney infection if left untreated. The bad news is that antibiotic therapy is not always very effective. The good news is that there are many self-treatment tips:

·         Drink enough water (about six to eight glasses daily)

·         Drink three cups of unsweetened cranberry juice or cranberry tea every day

·         Prepare a topical rinse to use after going to the loo; steep 7g dried calendula blossoms, 4g dried lavender blossoms and 3g dried thyme leaves in 1litre of boiling water for 30 minutes

·         Homeopathic remedies with active ingredients like Berberis, Petrisolenium and Cantharis often help

·         Use the homeopathic tissue salt Ferrum phos for burning pain, and Nat phos to balance your body’s acidity

·         Avoid bath oils, soaps and foams, and use an appropriate intimate wash for your genital area, but do not douche

·         Wear cotton underwear and avoid synthetic fabrics and very tight panties and trousers

·         Avoid sexual intercourse while the infection is being treated

·         If you do have sexual intercourse, pass urine afterwards

·         If it burns when you urinate, take medication to neutralise the acidity of your urine

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