If you have recently had pelvic reconstructive surgery, you may worry about getting a bladder infection, a possible problem after the procedure because of the urethra's close proximity to your vagina. If so, use the following three tips for preventing a bladder infection during your recovery period:
Go to the Bathroom as Soon as You Feel the Urge
During the weeks following your surgery, do not try to hold your urine when you have to go to the bathroom. Not only can the added pressure of a full bladder increase your pain around the surgical site, but it could put you at risk for a bladder infection.
When you hold urine for too long, bacteria starts to form inside your urethra and travels up into the bladder.
While it is still fresh, the acidic nature of urine cleanses out the urethra and naturally kills germs. However, when you hold it for too long, the urine starts to break down. This is why your urine usually looks darker and smells stronger when you first go to the bathroom in the morning.
During the day, go to the bathroom as soon as you feel the urge. Doing so keeps a consistent flow of urine going through the urethra and keeps the urine from breaking down inside your bladder.
Drink Plenty of Cranberry Juice
Along with going to the bathroom whenever you feel the need, increasing your liquids is essential for your body to produce urine so you can keep fresh urine going through the urethra.
While most liquids that are free from sugar or caffeine are desirable, cranberry juice can give you an extra boost when trying to keep bladder infections from forming. Cranberry juice has ingredients in it that can help to not only kill bacteria in your urinary tract, but it can also keep any leftover germs from sticking to the tissue.
When selecting your cranberry juice, look for brands that contain 100-percent unsweetened juice. Some brands have a small percentage of the natural juice, with the rest of the ingredients being sugar, water, and chemicals to make the drink taste more like cranberries.
Using the above tips could help minimize your risk of getting a bladder infection. However, if you notice you are going to the bathroom more often or feel a burning sensation when you urinate, contact the doctor who performed your pelvic reconstructive surgery so they can discuss options for treating the infection.
Contact a medical center like Western Branch Center for Women for more information and assistance.