Preventing a visit to the loo from being agony

Preventing a visit to the loo from being agony

Troublesome symptoms such as a constant need to urinate or pain or burning when passing water are often the result of a bladder infection. In this health tip you’ll find out how to prevent the problem.
Women are particularly familiar with the symptoms of a bladder infection: a shorter urethra means they’re more prone to the problem than men. Men tend to suffer more frequent infections as they get older. The symptoms of a bladder infection can include pain or burning when passing water, or a frequent sensation of having to urinate. In some cases it’s caused by bacteria: if they’re able to multiply too quickly in the urinary tract, the tissue responds by become inflamed. There’s a greater risk in winter because the cold weakens the immune system.

Usually a bladder infection is harmless and will disappear of its own accord in a few days. But people with a weak immune system or kidney condition as well as pregnant women should watch out. Here the risk of a complicated urinary tract infection with subsequent pyelitis is increased. And unfortunately, anyone who has already had bacterial cystitis is at increased risk of further infections.

How to make life hard for bacteria

There are various steps you can take to prevent a bladder infection. You can stop the bacteria from spreading too much by drinking plenty to regularly flush out some of the germs. Women should wipe from front to back to avoid spreading anal bacteria to the urethra.

It’s advisable to empty your bladder completely to prevent germs already in the urine from multiplying further. This is especially important after sex, when the urethra is often irritated.

Women shouldn’t overdo it in terms of intimate care. This means as far as possible not washing with scented intimate products or sprays. These can attack the vaginal flora and the mucous membrane of both the vagina and the urethra, which makes it easier for bacteria to enter the bladder.

It’s important to keep your lower abdomen warm, particularly in the winter, as if it gets too cold the blood vessels in the skin and mucous membranes contract, making it harder for immune cells to get where they need to be, and easier for germs to attack.

Can cranberries help?

Many people who are prone to urinary tract infections swear by products such as hot water bottles, special teas for the kidneys/bladder, or cranberry juice. But what really works? In the video, Dr Silke Schmitt-Oggier, Medical Director of santé24, explains how to deal with cystitis.

(Video in German)


Do you have a burning sensation or even pain when you urinate? But you don't know if this is due to a bladder infection or what you should do next? No problem. The BENECURA app from SWICA supports you when you feel unwell or become ill. SWICA customers can use the SymptomCheck feature of the BENECURA app, which was developed by doctors, to obtain information easily, quickly and reliably and immediately receive a personal recommendation about what to do next.

In the event of further health-related questions, SWICA customers can contact the santé24 telemedicine service free of charge on +41 44 404 86 86. A telemedicine practice licence allows santé24 physicians to provide additional medical services in cases that are suited to a telemedicine approach. SWICA customers can also use the BENECURA medical app to carry out a digital SymptomCheck and receive recommendations about what to do next. During a subsequent phone call with santé24, customers can decide for themselves whether to release their information from SymptomCheck to santé24.