Bladder infections vs. yeast infections: how are they related?
Bladder infections and yeast infections. One is enough, but when it rains, it pours. Bladder infections can ultimately lead to yeast infections. Here’s what you need to know about the link between the two and how to steer clear of them.
First things first, where is my bladder?
Your bladder is a balloon-like sac of muscular tissue that stores urine. Located behind your pelvic bone, it’s part of your lower urinary tract. To better understand your bladder, you need to know how your entire urinary tract works:
- First, your kidneys (those bean-shaped organs) clean waste from your blood to create urine.
- This urine travels through tubes (ureters) to your bladder.
- Finally, when you go to the bathroom, this urine is released from your bladder through your urethra and out of your body it goes!
What is a bladder infection or cystitis?
A bladder infection (cystitis) is a type of urinary tract infection (UTI). A UTI occurs when harmful bacteria infect any part of your urinary tract (kidney, ureters, bladder, urethra). A bladder infection is a bacterial infection of, you guessed it, the bladder. So, while all bladder infections are UTIs, not all UTIs are bladder infections. Here’s more info on knowing the difference between a UTI and a bladder infection.
How do you get a bladder infection?
Bladder infections occur when bacteria travel up your urethra through to your bladder and begin to multiply. This could be from:
- Holding in your pee for long amounts of time
- Wiping from back to front (bacteria from your anus travel up your urethra)
- Forgetting to urinate after sex
- Hormonal changes from menopause
- Diabetes or other illnesses that suppress the immune system
How do you treat a bladder infection?
Bladder infections are usually treated with antibiotics over 3 to 10 days. Antibiotics are effective because they kill the infection (harmful bacteria) but they also kill the good bacteria (Lactobacillus acidophilus).
That’s where the yeast infection link comes in.
While yeast lives in your vagina in small amounts, good bacteria balance the pH of your vagina and prevent yeast from growing out of control. Taking antibiotics increases your risk of a yeast infection because it kills the good bacteria. The cycle of UTIs and yeast infections seems never-ending. Luckily, there are preventative measures you can take to avoid a UTI in the first place which means no antibiotics and no yeast infections from antibiotics.
What is vaginal yeast, and what are yeast infection symptoms?
Yeast infections happen when yeast overgrows. Yeast is part of a healthy vaginal ecosystem, but when new yeast is introduced into the vaginal area or when the yeast present in the vagina overgrows because the regulating bacteria has been destroyed by antibiotics, it can result in a yeast infection. Symptoms include vaginal discharge, thick and whitish in color, itching in the vaginal area, and/or a burning sensation and pain during wiping or sex.
How can I avoid getting a yeast infection following a UTI?
In order to lessen the risk of a bladder infection remember to:
- Drink plenty of water
- Wipe from front to back
- Urinate after sex
- Avoid using douches, spermicidal lube or deodorant sprays on your genital area
- Avoid holding your pee for a prolonged amount of time
- Work Uqora into your routine in order to flush out UTI-causing bacteria when you’re at risk
- See a doctor if you have a burning sensation when you urinate or if you have blood in your urine
Any home remedies for a yeast infection? What can I do to prevent a yeast infection even though I’m on antibiotics?
While it’s no guarantee you’ll dodge a yeast infection while on antibiotics, these measures can help:
- Cut down on items which increase your bladder pH. That means sugar, processed and pre-packaged ready-made items, caffeine, alcohol, dairy products, red meat and other animal protein, fish, lots of corn, wheat, and potatoes
- Although there needs to be more research, eating yogurt or taking probiotics could help increase the growth of good bacteria in your vagina
- Don’t hang out in damp, sweaty clothes after physical activity
- Keep clothing loose, wear breathable underwear
- Go ‘commando’ at night
- Ditch the douche, feminine sprays, and scented products
At times, staying on top of your urinary health is easier said than done. Preventing a bladder infection means not having to use antibiotics, which means you’ll ultimately sidestep a yeast infection. While the tools listed above are important for reducing your risk of a bladder infection, Uqora can be that secret weapon when life throws you a curveball.