Genitourinary problems - First Aid


First aid

First aid

Genitourinary problems

Cystitis Urinary retention
  • Cystitis
    • Causes
    • Signs and symptoms
    • Is it possible to prevent cystitis?
    • What to do
    • Urinalysis and urine culture
  • Urinary retention


Urinary tract infections represent one of the most common human infectious diseases, second only to respiratory tract infections. When the problem particularly affects the bladder, it is called cystitis. Other urinary tract infections are urethritis, prostatitis and pyelonephritis.

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At the origin of urinary tract infections are mainly bacteria (in 75-85% of cases they are of the Escherichia coli type), more rarely mushrooms (Candida) and exceptionally viruses. These microorganisms can reach the urinary tract mostly by ascending (i.e. penetrating from the outside, thus going up from the urethra to the kidneys) and, secondly, descending (i.e. from the blood, as happens in the course of generalized infections body, through the kidneys and then to the bladder).

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Signs and symptoms

Bladder infection is manifested by a burning sensation or pain when urinating (stranguria), frequent urination (pollakiuria) with a feeling of incomplete emptying of the bladder, the emission of foul-smelling and turbid urine (pyuria); not infrequently there is also the presence of blood in the urine (macrohematuria, also reported by the color "washing of meat"); there is rarely a fever in cystitis.

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Is it possible to prevent cystitis?

In people who frequently encounter urinary tract infection (for example in those who have more than three episodes a year) it is useful to adopt preventive measures that are based substantially on general precautions:

  • Hygiene: cleanse the genital area well before sexual intercourse, urinate immediately after, avoid the use of the diaphragm or other intravaginal barrier methods.
  • Hydration: drinking a lot means reducing the bacterial load by simply diluting the content of the urinary tract; people with known vesicoureteral reflux or with an obstructive urinary disease must, however, talk to their doctor first, as too abundant hydration could aggravate the current disease;
  • Urinary pH acidification: a low urinary pH allows a greater antibacterial activity developed by some organic acids.

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What to do

If you are suddenly hit by an attack of acute cystitis, a first-aid remedy is to drink a lot and in a short time (for example 1-2 liters of water over a couple of hours).

However, if the symptoms do not improve and the pain persists, you will need to seek medical attention, who will prescribe antibiotic therapy (the appropriate drugs are: trimethoprim sulfamethoxazole or fluoroquinolone).

Don't do absolutely:

  • start antibiotic therapy without consulting your doctor;
  • stop the prescribed antibiotic therapy without completing it for the indicated period, trusting in the improvement of the symptoms, which usually occurs after taking a few doses of the drug (in this way the recurrence of the infection is favored).

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Urinalysis and urine culture

To obtain reliable results from uroculture, the urine sample must be collected in a precise way:

  • perform the collection at least 6 hours after the last urination (preferably the first morning urine);
  • wash your hands with soap and water;
  • clean the genitals with soap and water (do not use disinfectants) and rinse for a long time with water only;
  • start urination by letting the first stream of urine flow and collecting the next in a sterile container;
  • immediately close the container and bring it to the laboratory as soon as possible (and in any case within 1 hour of collection); in case of impossibility to a timely delivery, keep the container in the refrigerator at + 4 ° C.

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