If you are experiencing frequent urination or pain with urination, you may have a urinary tract infection (UTI). A UTI is a relatively common condition, but it is crucial to seek help and not leave it untreated, as the infection can spread. But what are the symptoms of a UTI, and when should you seek help.
What Is a UTI?
A urinary tract infection occurs when bacteria enter the urethra and affect the urinary tract. The urethra is the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body. It opens at the vestibule, which is the area around the opening of the vagina.
Common symptoms of a urinary tract infection include frequent urination, urge to urinate, pressure in the lower abdomen, and pain or burning with urination.
When to Seek Help
Most women will develop a UTI at some point in life, and the condition is generally not a cause for concern. However, if you have severe symptoms or recurrent UTIs, it is essential to seek medical help. Left untreated, UTIs can negatively impact a woman’s quality of life and cause a great deal of stress and anxiety.
If you are experiencing recurrent UTIs, it is also crucial to understand that other vaginal issues can cause symptoms similar to those of a UTI.
Some women have symptoms that present as recurring UTI’s but a urine culture may show that they do not have an infection. Chronic bladder infection symptoms without a urologic cause may be the result of contact dermatitis in the vestibule.
Contact dermatitis is an allergic reaction that occurs in response to internal and external factors.
An altered vaginal microflora pattern is an internal factor that can cause contact dermatitis. An altered vaginal microflora is the result of a shift in the normal bacterial milieu in the vagina.
The vaginal microflora contains a mix of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria, but the ‘good’ bacteria generally dominate. However, if this delicate balance is disrupted, it can lead to an overgrowth of harmful pathogens. The vaginal microflora is then in an altered state.
The secretions that originate from the altered microflora irritate the vulva tissues. This can cause symptoms such as urinary frequency/ urgency, burning, odor, and discharge. The problem is often made worse by irritation from external irritants found in products such as body soaps and rinses, detergents, shampoos, and conditioners.
Treating An Altered Vaginal Microflora
A vaginal fluid analysis (VFA) test is necessary to determine if an altered vaginal microflora is present. The VFA test involves a quantitative analysis of the constituents of the vaginal secretions.
The VFA test was developed by gynecologist Dr. R. Stuart Fowler of Fowler GYN International (FGI). FGI specializes in the treatment of chronic vulvovaginal conditions.
If an altered vaginal microflora is detected, FGI uses a customized treatment protocol to restore balance to the microflora. This is known as vaginal rejuvenate therapy and involves the use of medications and hypocontactant skincare products.
Hypocontactant skincare products are ideal for women with sensitive external genital tissues, as they contain no dyes, fragrances, or other irritants. FGI recommends the FeminaRx Pure SkinCare Collection to women on their customized treatment program with symptoms such as stinging, itching, and soreness.
FeminaRx Pure SkinCare Collection
FeminaRx products help to remove the build-up of secretions in the labial folds. The collection includes – hypocontactant soap, moisturizing skin lotion, astringent genital skin rinse, vaginal lubricant for intercourse, a labial emollient, and shaving cream for the genital area.