“It hurts when I go to the bathroom”
Ask yourself these questions:
- How long have you had these symptoms?
- Have you had these symptoms before?
- Do you have back pain?
- Does it hurt when you urinate?
- Does it burn?
- Is there any itching or odor in your vagina?
- Do you feel like you have to go every few minutes?
- When you do go, how much comes out?
– Very little
– Less than normal
– A normal amount
– More than usual
It may seem obvious
I know that some of these questions are silly, people wouldn’t be in the office writhing in pain, jumping up to go to the bathroom every 2 minutes if they didn’t have a bladder infection, but we have to be sure it’s not something else like a kidney stone, appendicitis or a vaginal infection.
As I tell my students, “If you hear hoof beats, it’s probably horses and not Zebras approaching, but every now and then, you’ll meet a Zebra or at least a pony you weren’t expecting.”
Testing the urine
Then we test the urine to see whether or not a few “Bad Guy Bacteria” let’s call them BGBs are crashing the bladder party and not playing nice. Like a CSI detective, without the cleavage, we’ll know in a few minutes what’s going on.
We might consider sending the urine to the lab to be cultured, this is to pinpoint precisely which BGBs were uninvited and which medications are most effective. Many times, we have a good idea of which BGBs are responsible for wreaking havoc in your bladder and we’ll prescribe antibiotics that are known to be effective.
Here’s a list of treatments:
- Wait and See Approach – This might work for 1 – 2 days, and your own immune system might fight off the Bad Guy Bacteria, BGB. If it doesn’t, then make the call and see your provider to feel better
- Drink more fluids – The idea here is to flush the system, but be careful, because if it’s not a bladder infection, or you have other medical problems like a kidney stone or high blood pressure, this is not a good idea
- – This can help prevent bladder infections and works well with antibiotics to flush the BGBs out. Check back tomorrow, because we’ll go into more depth on this, and
- Over the counter pain relief – These are great and really work! They are not a substitute for antibiotics, but work best with antibiotics to help you feel better faster. They are basically anesthetics for the urinary tract. Be prepared, because these cause urine to turn dark red and may permanently stain soft contact lenses.
– Azo Standard
– Azo Gesic
– There are 3 day and 7 day options available depending on a few factors:
- Your age
- What else is going on in your life?
- Did you just have a baby
- Are you approaching menopause
- Are you over 65?
- Are you in a new sexual relationship
- How many bladder infections you’ve had in your life
- How many you’ve had in the last 6 -12 months, and
- Your other medical issues.
What to ask your provider or pharmacist
- Should I avoid the sun with this medication?
- What should I do if I continue to have symptoms once I finish the medication?
- Should I avoid sex? And for how long?
- How do I prevent this in the future?