Discussing urinary tract infections and smelly discharge or sharing personal experiences with intimate issues is not strange in my workplace. Actually, it's probably a prerequisite when I think about it. If we are to break taboos, break new ground and contribute to a Pussytive future where women's intimate health is at the center, we have to live the way we teach. It takes a lot of effort. No question about that. It requires us to be able to be authentic, sincere and perhaps, to some extent, transparent. Maintaining this honesty takes courage and is based on trust and a sense of confidence. And it is precisely this atmosphere of safety, joy and trust in a Pussytive spirit that we strive to create for women. But to truly be that change, we must also practice what we preach. There is so much taboo and shame around women's genitals that enough is enough, making it hugely important that we approach the topic of intimate health with genuine pride as naturally as we discuss the latest episode of our favorite show or compare who has the most dramatic commuter story.
Many who work with us are drawn into our "Pussytive" ecosphere of intimate health, making our place a safe haven to share intimate experiences, in the hope that the future will offer women better options. I had a lively conversation with one of our partners this week about UTIs, as we've both had around 1000 (it feels like it at least), and UTIs have characterized and plagued us both for much of our childhood. During this time, I really needed someone to share my experiences and understand what I was going through. At that time, it was also impossible to google your way to an answer. To share experiences and knowledge is a superpower. So I hope that you reading this can benefit from some knowledge about the bacteria that cause UTIs and understand why it's so important to recognize the symptoms and get a diagnosis quickly. And who knows, maybe you too can become part of our Pussytive movement ❤ with one foot in science and the other in a more enlightened future where we talk about intimate health as casually as we share our best recipes or life hacks.
BACTERIA CAUSING URINARY TRACT INFECTION
The most common bacteria that causes urinary tract infection is Escherichia coli (E. coli), which is normally found in the intestine. Other bacteria that can cause UTIs include Klebsiella pneumoniae, Staphylococcus saprophyticus, and Enterococcus faecalis. These bacteria can enter the urinary tract, usually via the urethra, and begin to multiply, leading to infection.
COMMON SYMPTOMS OF URINARY TRACT INFECTION
Symptoms of urinary tract infection can vary depending on the severity and location of the infection. Common symptoms include:
🌸A burning sensation when urinating.
🌸Frequent or intense need to urinate, even when the bladder is empty.
🌸Cloudy, bloody, or strong-smelling urine.
🌸Pain in the lower part of the abdomen.
The VagiVital Urinary Tract Infection Self Test gives immediate answers to whether you have a urinary tract infection.
You will find our NEW urinary tract infection self-test here
ESCHERICHIA COLI (E. COLI) – THE MOST COMMON VILLAIN
When the subject of urinary tract infections (UTIs) comes to mind, most of us immediately think of the most common culprit: E. coli. E. coli is the main cause of urinary tract infections in humans. E. coli is normally part of the intestinal flora and lives in harmony with the body without causing problems. However, problems arise when the E. coli bacteria make their way into the urinary tract, where they don't belong. In this new environment, they can cause a range of problems, from mild to severe urinary tract infections. What makes E. coli particularly interesting is that it is sensitive to many types of antibiotics, making treatment relatively simple and effective in most cases.
KLEBSIELLA PNEUMONIAE – MORE THAN JUST A HOSPITAL BACTERIA
There's another, less talked about villain in this context that deserves some attention - Klebsiella pneumoniae. This bacteria, which sounds more like a character from a science fiction novel, is actually a common cause of hospital infections, including urinary tract infections.
Klebsiella pneumoniae is part of the body's normal flora, which means it usually lives in the gut without causing problems. However, the problem arises when it leaves the gut and enters the urinary tract, where it doesn't belong. There it can cause anything from mild to severe infections, including urinary tract infections. Why is Klebsiella pneumoniae particularly interesting? Well, because it can be particularly difficult to treat. It is known for its ability to resist many common antibiotics, making treatment options more limited and sometimes more complicated. Early diagnosis and proper treatment can make a big difference in the fight against this bacteria. The next time you hear about urinary tract infections, remember that there are more players in the game than just E. coli. Klebsiella pneumoniae may not win any popularity contests, but it's definitely a bacterium worth knowing about.
STAPHYLOCOCCUS SAPROPHYTICUS – DISCREET BUT POWERFUL
There is another important, if more subtle, player that deserves our attention: Staphylococcus saprophyticus. This bacterium plays a significant role in the urinary tract infection ecosystem, especially among young, sexually active women. By its nature, Staphylococcus saprophyticus is part of the normal microflora on our skin and in our urinary tract. However, it becomes problematic when it oversteps its boundaries and invades the bladder, which can lead to infection. Compared to E. coli, it accounts for a smaller proportion of UTI cases, but its contribution is nonetheless important to acknowledge.
ENTEROCOCCUS FAECALIS – FROM GUTS TO PROBLEMS
Enterococcus faecalismay not be the first bacterium that comes to mind when we talk about infections, but its role in hospital-acquired infections, including urinary tract infections (UTIs), is significant and warrants attention. This bacteria, which normally thrives in the calm environment of the gut, turns out to be more than just a passive inhabitant of the body's microbiome. As it moves from its home in the gut to other, more sensitive areas such as the urinary tract, its ability to cause disease becomes apparent. Enterococcus faecalis is a master at adapting and surviving in different environments, making it a formidable opponent in hospital environments where it can spread and cause infections. Its ability to resist multiple types of antibiotics only exacerbates the problem, leading to complicated and difficult-to-treat infectious conditions.
Read blog about symptoms and ways to prevent urinary tract infection here
BACTERIA AND BLOOD REQUIRING TREATMENT
Some urinary tract infections, especially those involving specific strains of bacteria or when blood is present in the urine, require immediate medical treatment. E. coli and other bacteria can become resistant to certain antibiotics, which makes it important to get the right diagnosis and treatment. When it comes to urinary tract infections (UTIs), analysis of the urine is an important tool to diagnose the infection and understand its severity. Four common indicators that are often examined in the urine for urinary tract infection are leukocytes, blood, nitrites and proteins. Let's go over what each of these indicates and why it is important to know their presence in the urine.
You can find the VagiVital Urinary Tract Infection Self Test here
THE ROLE OF LEUKOCYTES IN URINARY TRACT INFECTION
Leukocytes(white blood cells) are central to the body's immune system. They play a crucial role in fighting infections. When bacteria or other pathogens enter the urinary tract, the immune system sends leukocytes to the site of infection. This is part of the body's natural defense mechanism. The presence of leukocytes in the urine, a condition known as leukocyturia, often indicates an inflammatory process, which is usually the result of a bacterial infection.
🌸Leukocytes and urinary tract infections
Leukocytes in the urine can be an important indicator of a urinary tract infection. A high concentration of leukocytes may indicate an active infection that requires medical treatment. During and after the treatment of a urinary tract infection, urine tests for leukocytes can be used to monitor how well the treatment is working.
🌸Normal leukocyte values in the urine
In a healthy urine there should be very few or no leukocytes. A small amount may be considered normal, depending on the laboratory's reference range and method of analysis. Generally, up to 5 leukocytes per microscope field in concentrated urine is considered to be within the normal range.
🌸VagiVital Urinary Tract Infection Self Test
VagiVital Urinary Tract Infection Self Test is sensitive enough to detect the presence of leukocytes in very small amounts, specifically as low as 9 leukocytes per microliter of urine. The test's accuracy for detecting leukocytes is 97.6%, making it a reliable tool for early diagnosis of urinary tract infection. This high accuracy is important because even a relatively low concentration of white blood cells in the urine can be a sign of a urinary tract infection (UTI). A sensitive test can help diagnose urinary tract infection at an early stage, which is critical to start appropriate treatment quickly. Detecting leukocytes in the urine is therefore an important step in diagnosing and managing urinary tract infections.
BLOOD IN THE URINE – A WARNING SIGN NOT TO IGNORE
Blood in the urine, known as hematuria, is a condition that requires careful attention and can indicate various health problems. Normally, the urine should not contain visible blood.
When you can see blood in your urine, it is called macroscopic hematuria. It looks like the urine is red, pink or has a brownish tint and can be a sign of a urinary tract infection (UTI). Other symptoms that often come along include a burning sensation when you urinate or a constant need to go to the toilet.
🌸 Microscopic Hematuria
Sometimes there is blood in the urine that is not visible to the naked eye. It is called microscopic hematuria and is detected only with a laboratory analysis. It may be a sign of an underlying disease or condition that needs medical attention.
🌸Detection of hemoglobin in the urine
VagiVital Urinary Tract Infection Self Testcan find very small amounts of free hemoglobin - as little as 0.05 mg/dL or 5 erythrocytes per microliter of urine. It helps identify urinary tract related problems early, even when there is ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) in the urine. Ascorbic acid can interfere with many urine tests, but the VagiVital Urinary Tract Infection Self Test is reliable even when ascorbic acid is present in the urine. The test has an accuracy of 96% for detecting blood in the urine, making it a valuable tool for the early detection of urinary tract-related conditions. If you have symptoms suggestive of a urinary tract infection or if you are concerned about blood in your urine, you should contact a doctor for further investigation and treatment.
URINE NITRITES - A DEFINITIVE SIGN OF URINARY TRACT INFECTION
Nitrites are chemical compounds that can be found in urine and they are important because they can tell you if there are certain types of bacteria there. These bacteria, called E. coli, are often the cause of urinary tract infections.
🌸Diagnostic significance of nitrite levels
In the urine, nitrate (NO3-) is present in a certain amount. Some bacteria, such as Escherichia coli (E. coli), which are common causes of urinary tract infections, have the ability to convert nitrate to nitrite (NO2-). This ability to convert nitrate to nitrite is an important part of the bacteria's metabolism. When a test shows that there are nitrites in the urine, it usually means that these bacteria are present. It helps doctors know if a urinary tract infection caused by bacteria is the problem. It is a useful marker for differentiating bacterial infections from other problems in the urinary tract that are not caused by bacteria, such as viruses or fungi. When nitrites are indicated, it may mean that antibiotic treatment is necessary and doctors use this information to choose the appropriate antibiotics.
🌸VagiVital Urinary Tract Infection Self Test offers high precision and accuracy
VagiVital Urinary Tract Infection Self Test detects nitrite as low as 0.05 mg/dL in urine, which means the test can find even very small amounts of nitrite in urine and is a very sensitive tool for detecting even the smallest traces of nitrite with a accuracy of 100%. In addition, the test can work well even when there are other substances in the urine, such as ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), at a concentration of less than 30 mg/dL. This means that even if the urine contains little ascorbic acid, the test will still be able to find nitrite correctly. Nitrites in the urine are an important indicator for identifying and differentiating different types of urinary tract infections. The VagiVital Urinary Tract Infection Self Test offers a high degree of precision and accuracy, making it a valuable tool for early detection and proper treatment of urinary tract infection.
WHEN PROTEIN APPEARS IN THE URINE
Proteins are fundamental components of our body and play a crucial role in many biological processes. But when these proteins start showing up in the urine, it can be an important signal that something is wrong.
🌸Kidney function and protein
Normally, the kidneys are amazing organs that act as the body's natural purifier. They filter waste products and excess substances from the blood while retaining the necessary proteins that the body needs. When proteins begin to pass through the kidneys and end up in the urine, it can be an indication that the kidneys are not working optimally. The presence of protein, also called proteinuria, is often linked to kidney disease or damage to the kidneys. This condition can be an early sign that something is wrong with these important organs. Kidney disease can be serious and progressive, so early detection is of utmost importance to take action and prevent further damage.
🌸Proteinuria and urinary tract infections
Although proteinuria is not the most common sign of urinary tract infections (UTIs), it can sometimes occur in more serious infections, especially if they have spread to the kidneys. The detection of protein in the urine associated with a urinary tract infection may be a signal that a more comprehensive treatment strategy may be necessary, especially if there is a risk of kidney involvement.
🌸VagiVital Urinary Tract Infection Self Test ability to detect protein
VagiVital Urinary Tract Infection Self Test has the ability to detect albumin, a common type of protein, in urine as low as 7.5 mg/dL (0.075 g/L). The accuracy of the test for identifying proteins is impressive with a precision of 88%. This means that the test can provide reliable results to detect proteinuria and thereby indicate urinary tract infection.
DRY MUCOUS MEMBRANES ARE OFTEN THE CULPRIT
Often, dry mucous membranes can be a contributing factor to urinary tract infections. As the mucous membranes in the urinary tract dry out, they become more susceptible to invasion by harmful bacteria that can cause infections. This is because the mucous membranes' natural defense system loses its effectiveness when they are dry and cannot repel bacteria in the same way as moist and healthy mucous membranes. To maintain optimal moisture and promote healthy mucous membranes, VagiVital AktivGel can be of great help. The crystal-clear and non sticky gel is completely hormone-free and moisturizes the mucous membranes over time, which in turn reduces the risk of dry mucous membranes and thus the risk of urinary tract infections. In the clinical studies we have conducted with VagiVital AktivGel, we see very good results after 30 days (4 weeks). The results are further improved at the 12-week follow-up. Therefore, we normally recommend daily use for 12 weeks (3 tubes) and then transition to use as needed. In user surveys, most people respond that they use the product daily for 30 days. After that, it is most common to switch to every second or third day use ❤.
VagiVital AktivGel can be found here
URINARY TRACT INFECTIONS ALWAYS COME AT THE MOST INAPPROPRIATE TIMES
Just as I sit and reflect on the importance of spreading knowledge about urinary tract infections, I receive an email from the same collaborator with whom I had an in-depth conversation just a week ago. She announced that she was unable to attend our scheduled appointment due to an urgent medical appointment. And the reason was? Well, she strongly suspected she had a UTI and wished she had had our new UTI test at home for a quick diagnosis. For women who have experienced urinary tract infections, it is also no news that they seem to occur at the most inopportune times. It seems to be more of a rule than an exception. The urinary tract infection likes to make itself known on a Friday afternoon after 5 p.m. or preferably during holidays in a place far away from civilization. Life is like that for some strange reason, but it always feels a little better to share it with someone else❤
Take care of yourself & Stay Pussytive❤
/Fanny Falkman Grindal
Business Manager Nordics
Peptonic Medical AB