Women who regularly suffer from lower urinary tract infection (cystitis) should not give up. There are indeed solutions to prevent recurrence, such as drinking a lot or following a cranberry-based cure. Advice from doctors.
Contrary to popular belief, cystitis is not a sexually transmitted disease.
UTIs are mostly caused by germs
“90% of cystitis are caused by germs, generally of digestive origin, which spread through a self-contamination: when we have a bowel movement, bacteria soil the perineum, then the urethra and will finally infect the bladder, ”explains Prof. François Haab, head of the urology department at Tenon hospital (Paris).
Hence this want to pee, frequent and irrepressible, and these often unbearable burns while urinating. And if women are particularly vulnerable (9 out of 10 cases), it is because the distance between their urethral meatus and their bladder is much shorter than in men.
The bacterium Escherichia coli, is the main culprit but other germs are sometimes involved, including staphylococcus saprophyticus (Staphylococcus saprophyticus).
Is the handling and consumption of meat involved?
Thus, in a study published in March 2021 in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, a Portuguese research team has highlighted thefood origin of cystitis caused byStaphylococcus saprophyticus. This staphylococcus is thought to be a recurrent contaminant of the pork meat, because it is present in the intestinal and rectal flora of pigs.
The team analyzed the S. saprophyticus present in a slaughterhouse, and compared them to those responsible for urinary tract infections in humans. The results revealed that slaughterhouse bacteria (equipment, meat, colonization of workers) were similar to the bacteria that cause cystitis in humans. 35% of samples collected from slaughterhouses were contaminated, possibly because the bacteria had become resistant to some of the cleaning products used.
Contamination could then take place in a human-to-human way (slaughterhouse workers to their relatives, for example), or when handling or eating contaminated meat, before it is fully cooked. “This is a clear example of the impact of food handling on human health and the importance of educating consumers on good personal hygiene practices to prevent the spread of infectious diseases,” commented Maria Miragaia, the researcher who led the study, in a communicated. “This adds to the list of bacteria that are transmitted to humans through contact with animals and foods of animal origin, ”added Henrik Westh, co-author of the study.
Solutions to prevent an immediate recurrence
- Treat the current episode well: “We offer a specific antibiotic treatment in a single dose, orally”, says Prof. Haab.
- To drink a lot (water, herbal tea, tea…) so as to “wash” the bladder of the germs present, and by going to urinate as soon as the need arises.
- Make a cranberry cure (or cranberry) from 15 days to a month in the form of juice, tablets, sachets, even if the controversy over its effectiveness remains… “The French Food Safety Agency (ANSES) has recognized the preventive effectiveness of its active ingredient , called PAC, at a rate of 36 mg / day, ”confirms Prof. Haab. However, the Agency considers that the clinical data currently available do not allow to conclude that the consumption of cranberries has a preventive effect on urinary infections. Doctors often offer cranberries in conjunction with antibiotic treatment.
Steps to take in case of recurrent cystitis
A number of preventive measures must be put in place:
- drink at least 1.5 liters of water per day,
- fight against possible constipation which accentuates bacterial proliferation in the digestive tract;
- going to pee after each sexual intercourse to eliminate germs that may be stationed at the entrance to the urethra;
- avoid excessive hygiene and corrosive soaps which “scour” the vaginal flora.
“A very low dose preventive antibiotic therapy can be considered if the infection returns without reason once or twice a month, as well as a hormonal treatment by vaginal route in postmenopausal women, because an estrogen deficiency sometimes alters the local flora. », Adds our expert.
Other solutions in video with the advice of a gynecologist.