Urethritis and the information gap

I Heat You® was born when our founder Emma Hällström finally found out that she was suffering from non-bacterial urethrithis. By then she had been going to different doctors over 15 years, thinking that urinary tract infections vas the problem.

Emma, and many other women suffering from urethritis, are helped by warmth – the rest is herstory. Now Heather™ is available tp keep all butts warm and help women with, or without, urethritis.

Unfortunately the knowledge if urethritis is often low. And there are not much information to find. This is why we have put together all the information we have found during our work with I Heat You® and Heather™.

Disclosure: We at I Heat You do not have any medical training. The information is gathered from different places on the internet and from interviews with medical personal as well as patiens suffering from urethritis. Please contact your regular doctor or gynecologist to discuss your problems.

500 000 Swedish women suffer from urethritis

Finding any information about urethritis is hard. Therefore we have collected everything that we have been able to find here for you to read.

Finding it impossible to find out any numbers on how many that are suffering from urethritis, we asked Roland Alvarsson (med dr) at Alvarssons medical office in Visby, Sweden.

”Approximately 500 000 women in Sweden suffers from urethritis.”

Let that number sink in for a minute. Sweden has about 10 million inhabitants, let us say 5 millon of those are female. That tells us that 10 percent of those suffers from urethritis.

Many of those women do not know what they are suffering from. And they are often wrongly treated with antibiotics.

Hurting bladder cartoon
Frågetecken lär dig mer om uretrit

What is urethritis?

Urethritis is an inflammation of the urethra. Since the symptoms often are the same as urinary tract infection, it is common that woman with urethritis are miss-diagnosed and treated with antibiotics.

There are two kinds of urethritis. Non-bacterial urethritis and bacterial urethritis. To decide how to treat your problems, you first need to know what you are suffering from.

Non-bacterial urethritis

Non-bacterial urethritis occurs when the secretion in the glands around the  urethra get caught. This makes the urethra more narrow and  causes lower flow and sometimes burns when urinating. The pressure causes pains in the pelvis area and also the need of taking a leak.

Research in the area are neglected, however specialists believe that the reasons behind non-bacterial urethritis could be cold, hormonal birth-controls or other underlying deceases such as IBS or endometriosis. There are also many people with urethritis that are discussing the influence of your diet.


Pictogram hurting

Many are miss diagnosed

A lot of women with non-bacterial urethritis are miss diagnosed with urinary tract infections and are medicated with antibiotics. Many tells stories where their problems and pains have not been taken seriously, since no bacteria is discovered in the urin.

Even though non-bacterial urethritis does not give the same amount of bacterias as urinary tract infection, the bladder always holds some bacteria and since a patient with non-bacterial urethritis can find it hard to completely empty the bladder urinary tract infection can develop.

Symptoms of non-bacterial urethritis

  • Feeling the frequent or urgent need to urinate
  • Pains in the pelvis region
  • Burn and pain
  • Tension in the groins
  • Back pains
  • Pains in bladder
  • Cramps
  • Pains when having penetrating sex
  • Dripping incontinence or leaking
  • Bad flow and hard tp urinate
  • Symptoms can vary from day to day
  • No bacteria can be found
  • High pH in the urin
  • Both white and red blood cells can sometimes be found
  • It is common to find the urin flaky
Utropstecken - kyla boven vid uretrit

Never get cold

The believes are that the main reason that the secretion in the glands around the  urethra get caught are simply that you get cold. There are also theories that hormonal birth-controls and your diet, especially sugar, can have a negative impact.

Evidence that cold gives you urinary tract infections are few (if any), however the non-bacterial urethritis is not an infection and pretty much all of us that are suffering from non-bacterial urethritis know that heat helps and that cold are the evil villain.

Helping heat

Heat can be used to ease symptoms when an episode is a fact. This is great to know. But heat can also help to prevent trouble. Simply by keeping warm, it seems possible to keep the urethritis under control.

However, this pretty much translates to an endless carrying around of blankets, warming heating pads in the microwave and limitations in your life to avoid getting cold.

”I realized that I avoided to sit on the floor to play with my son since that pretty much immediate gave me pains. I wish that I had known why and how to avoid trouble.”

– Emma Hällström, founder I Heat You


Treatments of non-bacterial urethritis

When experiencing slighter symptoms many are helped with heat to parry an episode of non-bacterial urethritis. However there are occasions when heat is not enough. Then it can be necessary to visit the doctor.

In Sweden the treatment is widening the urethra. Sometimes cortisone are injected in the urethra or the glands around the urethra.

Bacterial urethritis

Research shows that urethritis also can be caused by bacterias like Ureaplasma urealyticum and Mycoplasma genitalium.

Some claim that cortisone treatments are making the urethritis worse when it is caused by bacterias. This is probably due to that cortisone weakens the immune defense which allows the bacteria to grow. Therefore it could be good to out-rule bacterias in advance to start a cortisone treatment of non-bacterial urethritis.

Microscope pictogram

Ureaplasma and mycoplasma

Since these ureaplasma and mycoplasma don’t have any cell walls ordinary antibiotics does not have any effect on them. They can also capsule themselves in tissue, and are therefore hard to get to.

Ureaplasma is found in 50% of the sexually active population and are often believed to be apart of the normal bacterial flora. However it seems to cause urethritis among some.

Mycoplasma can also be the source of urethritis. Mycoplasma causes symptoms like burn when urenating, itching, kan även det orsaka besvär.  Symtom på mykoplasma kan vara sveda när man kissar, klåda,  discharges and intermenstrual bleedning.

Treatment of bacterial urethritis

When suffering from bacterial urethritis it is important to be treated with the correct antibiotics. It is also supposed to be going on for a longer time (1 month). It can be hard to find a type that is working and you might have to try different kinds, since there are also issues with resistence.

Some doctors think that it is key to also treat an eventual partner, to reduce the risk of being infected again. Others are very sceptic to treating the partner.

Det är enligt vissa läkare även viktigt att behandla en partner för att minska risken för återfall. Andra läkare är väldigt skeptiska till partnerbehandling.

Enligt en klinik i Cleveland, USA, som forskar på ureaplasma och blir hälften av de som behandlas där för ureaplasma av med sina besvär efter antibiotikakurer.

Pictogram e coli bacteria

Urinary tract infections

Urinary tract infections or UTI are most common caused by the E-coli bacteria. However there are other bacterias that can cause UTI.

Sometimes the UTI can heal by it selves. However it can be necessary to treat it with antibiotics. A surtant amount of bacteria needs to be found in the urin to classify it as a UTI.

En UVI kan läka ut av sig själv, men ibland behöver man behandlas med antibiotika. För att det ska klassas som UVI krävs en viss bestämd mängd bakterier i urinen.

Vanligen görs en urinodling vid misstanke om UVI. Eftersom det är en så kallad korttidsodling som görs kommer dock alla bakterier inte att synas på den. Det kan alltså finnas bakterier i urinvägarna även om det inte syns på odlingen.

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