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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    19

    preventing Bladder Infections

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    I am a casual "comfort bike" rider. And I found that my last 2 rides lead to grief (bladder infections). I tend to ride for a half a hour. Maybe when I get in better shape, an hour. I am a "little old lady" but I like to ride my bike.

    Any one have any experience in how to prevent infections? My butt is NOT sore after I ride.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    San Antonio, TX
    Posts
    2,024
    You probably have too much urethral/soft tissue pressure. You either need a different saddle, or to play with the saddle adjustment to relieve urethral pressure (fore/aft position, angle, etc). Your weight should be supported on your sit bones, not soft tissues. Also, it should go without saying that good hygiene is important, always wear a fresh clean pair of padded cycling shorts, no underwear, and change out of them quickly after riding.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    1,253
    Seconding the recommendation to try a different saddle, maybe one with a cutout. I have had UTI-like symptoms for a few hours after riding with this one awful saddle I used to have. It wasn't a true bacterial infection, but it was definitely irritated, burning and uncomfortable.

    Also, avoiding refined sugars, staying very well hydrated, and drinking unsweetened cranberry juice can help a lot to prevent these nasty events from happening.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    1,063
    I totally agree with the previous response regarding saddle, saddle position, clean shorts, etc. Consider saddles with cutouts, as well. Wash your shorts in hot water to make sure they are really, really clean (cold water won't kill the bacteria that likes to live there). Avoid fabric softeners and soaps with perfumes--particularly with cycling gear as they can cause irritations that provide a weak spot for bacteria to exploit.

    But, alas, some of us will always be more susceptible to bladder infections than others, no matter what we do. If you aren't already a cranberry juice addict, consider that with every bike ride should be 8 oz of cranberry juice. Cranberry juice has been shown to set up an environment in the bladder that prevents bacteria from hanging around and causing the dreaded bladder infection.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    19

    Bladder Infections

    Thank you one and all for your suggestions. My infection really was an infection: it cultured out. The second one could have been a left over from the first, inproperly treated, one.

    I have a problem with cranberry juice: it makes me sick. Maybe if I drank small quantities of it, I could get used to it. And lots more water.

    I have a cut out saddle to try, and have cycling shorts on order. I sure hope something works.

    As you get old, none of your parts work very well any more. I have in the past ridden 50 miles on a Brooks leather saddle. Now that hurt, but no infections! And that is part of my glorious past.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    1,063
    I'm not really fond of cranberry juice (I drink it as medicine), but I can't imagine getting rid of a bladder infection without it. I feel bad for you.

    When the white cranberry juices came out (I can tolerate some of the mixed flavors of white juice better), I did a bunch of research to see if the white cranberry juice had the same effect--it does. It turns out that blueberries also have the same effect; although I don't think I've ever seen anyone mass produce blueberry juice (big pieces of blueberry pie, perhaps? :-) :-) )

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Marin County CA
    Posts
    5,958
    There are also those capsules which have the cranberry "stuff" in them - taking those with a LOT of water seems to have the same helpful effect if you don't like the juice.
    Sarah

    When it's easy, ride hard; when it's hard, ride easy.


    2011 Volagi Liscio
    2010 Pegoretti Love #3 "Manovelo"
    2011 Mercian Vincitore Special
    2003 Eddy Merckx Team SC - stolen
    2001 Colnago Ovalmaster Stars and Stripes

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    3,936
    Sorry about your infection They are so painful.

    I have read a few times of bladder infections that happened to people who had a removable gel pad for their seat (and/or used such a pad for spinning). I'm not sure if that makes sense but it was a plausible hypothesis. This does not seem to be your case, but others might find that bit of info useful...

    Good luck!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,139
    I second taking the cranberry tablets - works like a charm. Good luck with this, I know how cruddy these little buggers can be.
    Dar
    _____________________________________________
    “Minds are like parachutes...they only function when they are open. - Thomas Dewar"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    San Antonio, TX
    Posts
    2,024
    Quote Originally Posted by Chimiska View Post
    I have a cut out saddle to try, and have cycling shorts on order. I sure hope something works. As you get old, none of your parts work very well any more. I have in the past ridden 50 miles on a Brooks leather saddle. Now that hurt, but no infections! And that is part of my glorious past.
    I did use a cut out for this reason, but then ran into chafing problems around the cut-out, so for me the best solution was a brooks saddle that I tilt down slightly to relieve urethral pressure (when I say tilt down the nose is level but the rear is higher than the nose). I find it is very comfortable and doesn't cause either chafing or UTIs. Also, you say you are older. I find using an estrgen vaginal cream regularly helps (if you aren't on oral estrogens), as does chamois butter. As we age our tissues do get thinner and more fragile.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    467
    Quote Originally Posted by Triskeliongirl View Post
    .... I find using an estrgen vaginal cream regularly helps (if you aren't on oral estrogens)....
    Yeap, even some of us that are relatively young (does 30's still count as young? ) benefit from these same remedies. The estrogen cream, cranberry juice, a good saddle, and proper bike fit will get you 90% of the way there at least.

    Ugggh, UTI's, I had one last christmas which made for a rather forgettable few days!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Brisbane, QLD, Australia
    Posts
    529
    Quote Originally Posted by maillotpois View Post
    There are also those capsules which have the cranberry "stuff" in them - taking those with a LOT of water seems to have the same helpful effect if you don't like the juice.
    I also reccommend this!! I had six months of full blown UTIs earlier this year After three months of chronic infection, she put on long term anti-biotics and reccommendded I supplement them with the cranberry tablets.

    I'm on a 15000mg (extra strength) Blackmores cranberry capsule now. 3 per day since I came off the anti-biotics in Septemeber and I haven't had a UTI since.
    @LIGHTSABE*R(::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    Beginner Triathlete Log

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Top of Parrett Mountain, Oregon
    Posts
    453

    Regarding Cranberries

    Hi, when I was in my 20s and biked a lot, I suffered from severe bladder infections also. I am now in my early 50s. I learned to always be sipping on liquid, and for me that is water or hot tea, and that keeps the bladder flushed out. If I get dehydrated, the infection will come back, like if I get real sick with a flu. I eat berries every single day.

    As for the cranberries, mix it up and make cranberries and blueberries a part of your daily diet, and don't depend on just a pill. For example, cranberry juice is tasty mixed with diet 7-Up or diet Sprite. Use dried cranberries and blueberries and cherries and add it to the hollow of the acorn squash when baking, with maybe a splash of orange juice and a bit of butter or diet margarine, depending upon your calorie intake and/or cholesterol level. Use fresh and dried cranberries, blueberries and cherries to make muffins and quick breads. Add the dried or fresh berries to your salads. Make a stewed fruit dish, that tastes good both hot and cold, of pears, apples, and the dried or fresh berries, and this type of dish can be cooked quickly in the microwave.

    Cranberries are fresh in the grocery store right now. Buy a whole bunch of packages and stick them in the freezer.

    Remember that the berries are high in anti-oxidants. Not only that, recent research believes that cranberries and blueberries may assist in making insulin more sensitive, thus lowering blood sugar for those who may be diabetic. The cherries are thought to possess anti-imflammatory properties, along with aiding in insulin sensitivity, for those who may have chronic imflammation such as arthritis.

    Darcy

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Marin County CA
    Posts
    5,958
    This may not be an issue, but I was also suffering from chronic bladder infections (at least every 1 - 2 months) for most of the last 2 years. I drink a lot of water and it wasn't (for me) related to cycling. The cranberry pills helped a lot - but the infections would still come back. My internist suggested my IUD may be an issue - there was some study about it possibly changing the "environment" down there, even though it is in a totally different place. And it was at the 10 year mark anyway, so about time to take it out. My OB-Gyn said that was ridiculous and it couldn't possibly be the cause, but I decided to have her take it out anyway. I had it taken out in January and I haven't had a problem with bladder infections since!



    Of course, that stupid nuvaring I was given as my "new" birth control gave me pulmonary emboli. You just can't win sometimes...
    Sarah

    When it's easy, ride hard; when it's hard, ride easy.


    2011 Volagi Liscio
    2010 Pegoretti Love #3 "Manovelo"
    2011 Mercian Vincitore Special
    2003 Eddy Merckx Team SC - stolen
    2001 Colnago Ovalmaster Stars and Stripes

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    19
    Thank you everyone for your ideas and input. I am taking notes like mad, and will make a trip to the grocery to see what I can find, and what I can tolerate. Maybe I just had a bad day when the cranberry juice made me sick: and of course, I drank a LOT all at once trying to fight off an impending infection. I need to hunt for the cranberry pills. Never heard of them.

    I am trying adjustments on my saddle too. I sure hope something works. I use that bike for transportation to meetings around our community. (A retirement-countryclub type place).

    There should be a removable chamois that can be taken out and practically boiled and washed each and every day.


 

 

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