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Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #1 
Hi, I have been experiencing urinary problems for around 5 months now with all tests and examinations showing no signs of infection or bacteria. Wondered if any of you could help?

The first time it presented itself, I had what I thought was thrush so I took an oral tablet and symptoms did improve. A couple of weeks later the stinging when I urinate started. This progressed to urge incontinence and bouts of intense itching, straining and a feeling of pressure in my abdomen and vagina. I was examined numerous times and had swabs and urine samples taken - no prolapse (I had twins in oct 2016 - 3rd pregnancy), no signs of thrush, no STDs/STIs, no signs of urine infection... symptoms became less frequent then stopped for about a month. I went to the doctor for thrush around 2 weeks ago, tablet given and symptoms went away then 3 days ago I noticed an increase in urination, then the stinging started again. That day I actually full on wet myself 3 times as I didn't make it to the toilet on time. Going to the toilet around every hour in between these incidents and emptying my bowels, 3 times that day. I'm only 30 and I don't drink anywhere near enough to warrant going to the toilet every hour! The day after it started I noticed the itching starting to appear, the itch feels as though it's inside my vagina but is not like a thrush itch and becomes worse after urinating. I think the itch is confusing doctors. I have had mild stomach pains on and off.
To be honest, I am somewhat worried about Ovarian cancer - worse case I know. I can't find anything online about the itching though and I'm stumped - I can't go on like this. Any advice welcome! Thanks!

Posts: 1,088
Reply with quote  #2 
Firstly I'm so sorry you are struggling with this. I'm going to offer some suggestions to move you forward and I'm sure others will also contribute.

1. Vaginal microbes can cause UTI like symptoms or indeed cause UTIs themselves. Different bacteria produce different symptoms thoughout the urinary tract and your symptoms do sound like some form of low grade infection which may be exacerbated by thrush like symptoms. Referred pain from the bladder can manifest itself as stabbing pain and itching in the vagina as the pelvic floor nerves are so interlinked and also cause the famous cystitis swollen lower belly. Certainly urge incontinence can be a symptom of infection, I know when I had a raging E. coli infection I used to wet myself and have horrible stinging after urinating with stabbing pains in the vagina yet my tests were all negative. I then sent a sample off to a lab for a private test and it came back positive for E. coli.

2. To help yourself in the meantime, get some D Mannose powder (google it) and take 8 teaspoons a day in water when flaring or a management dose of 3-4 teaspoons. It clings to bacteria such as E. coli and flushes it from the bladder to prevent it attaching to the bladder wall. Try not to pee after drinking it for an hour and take a glass each time you pee. Also try Oil of Oregano oil tablets and Grapefruit seed extract. Two OOO tablets twice daily and the same for the GSE. Take away from antibiotics. You will also need a good probiotic as OOO and Grapefruit seed extract wipe out the good bacteria in the gut just as strongly as taking antibiotics. The higher the numbers in terms of lactobacillus the better - Optibac do an excellent range including one specifically for vaginal health.

3. Despite what you have read, Do NOT drink cranberry juice. It is full of sugar which will feed bacteria and is way too acidic. Drink lots of water, you need to get bladder flushed to keep your urine from pooling and bugs causing infections.

4. Look at your diet and lifestyle. Cut out wheat, caffeine, sugar, spicy food and tomatoes and citrus foods for the time being to see if this helps. Drink plain ph neutral water, nothing carbonated as carbonic acid is a bladder irritant. It sounds really dull but if it is a combo of an infection and a fungal infection you need to starve the source of food for them. Having had twins has probably put a huge strain on your immune system as well as your hormones and it may be that bacteria have bubbled up because you are run down. Eat well and nourish yourself.

5. Wipe front to back always. Shower don't bath but if this is not possible no foam bath products in the bath (and always clean the bath afterwards - bacteria can breed in dirty baths) or anything perfumed down below including perfumed toilet paper. Don't douche your vagina as this affects the natural ph balance. Cotton Sanitary towels only (Boots make one or Natracare) as the bleached lining of normal sanitary towels and pads causes urethral irritation and no tampons as they dry out the vagina and also affect natural ph levels.. Bugs live on tampon strings and can work down from your anus to your urethra. And practice the bottle washing technique each time you have a bowel movement. A good book to get hold of is the Angela Kilmartin book about cystitis. Lots of lifestyle tips for managing this and her famous bottle washing technique.

6. Vaginal Fungal spores are at their highest in the week leading up to your period and during menstruation. Results can also be skewed if you are already using antifungal medication and where possible if going for a swab try to avoid using any thrush meds at least 10 days in advance of the test.

7. Also track your symptoms - are they worse when you ovulate and leading up to your period? That could be down to hormones. Look at your method of birth control. Oestrogen is needed for the vagina to keep the PH in balance. Too alkaline and infections such as thrush or BV can flare up which in turn can be transferred to the bladder during sex. If you are on a progesterone only form of BC including the coil this can deplete the oestrogen especially if you recently have given birth and hormone levels may not have fully recovered.

8. Finally it may be worth having a scan just to check that you don't have a fibroid or cyst pressing on the bladder causing pain. I'm sure your GP can refer you to the local hospital and a good uro gynae to be assessed to rule this out.

The BHUK have lots of factsheets they can send to you to help and there is a nurse available each Wednesday for a chat so do call them for more info.

Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #3 
Hi, thanks for your reply. That's really helpful.

My most recent urine sample showed signs of a UTI - FINALLY. I've been given anti biotic called Nitrofurantoin modified release. Only 3 days worth, I would've expected a week but hey, we'll see. Hopefully this will be the end of it and I won't get recurring symptoms after treatment.

Thanks again for the information. I'll deff get some powder and look into the sanitary towels. I use 'Always' usually but I have noticed they make me feel a bit itchy sometimes.

Many thanks! Claire
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