Contrary to popular belief: cranberry juice doesn’t really help
A bladder infection can be extremely painful. It is something that primarily affects women and all women are said to get a bladder infection at least once in their lives. Unfortunately, there are a lot of myths around bladder infection. And some of them will be debunked in this article.
Cystitis, or bladder infection, is usually caused by a bacterial infection of the bladder. Symptoms usually include pain while urinating, having to go to the bathroom more often, pain in your pelvic region and turbid urine or urine that has blood in it. Luckily, bladder infections are easily treated and so it is relatively easy to get rid of. But there are some common myths surrounding bladder infections. Curious about them? Here they are:
1. It only affects women
We mentioned that women are more likely to get bladder infections. And it is true that they’re more susceptible to urinary tract infection. That is because women have a shorter urinary tract than men do. But that doesn’t mean that men can not get a bladder infection. So, the myth that men can not get a bladder infection is actually not true.
2. If you wash your vulva with soap, you’re less likely to get it
This is not true and this myth can actually be dangerous. If you wash your vulva with soap, you can affect the natural pH- and bacterial balance in your vagina. And that will make you more susceptible to an infection. So, just wash your vulva with some water. And don’t use any soap, wipes or other products that promise flowery-fresh smells. That part of your body is perfectly capable of staying clean by itself.
3. Sexual intercourse increases your chances
A bladder infection is not contagious. That means that you can’t give other people a bladder infection by sleeping with them. What could happen, is that during sex, bacteria are pushed into the urinary tract. But that is not the only cause of a bladder infection. When you’re dehydrated, holding your pee or with certain medical conditions like diabetes, chances of getting a bladder infection will increase. Using a condom could help reduce the chances of getting an infection. Just make sure you don’t use a condom with spermicide. Because that will increase your chances of getting a bladder infection.
4. Cranberry juice
Unfortunately, drinking a lot of cranberry juice won’t rid you of your bladder infection more quickly. This myth is one of the more popular ones and chances are that people have recommended cranberry juice when you were dealing with a bladder infection. But Dr. Andrew Vallance-Owen told Stylist that there is no scientific proof to back this myth.
5. It is caused by the cold
This is also a very popular myth. Your parents have probably told you to dress warm so you wouldn’t get a bladder infection. But there is also no scientific evidence to back this myth. But there is some truth to it. Because of the cold, your pelvic muscles might not work as well as they would when it’s warm. And that will result in the inability to empty your bladder completely. Leftover pee can cause bacteria to multiply and that can result in an infection.
Read more: Overactive bladder in winter? This is why the cold makes you pee
Source: Marie Claire | Image: Unsplash, Frank Flores