Elle Macpherson reportedly tests the pH of hers. Bear Grylls has drunk his. A beauty fad has some women moisturizing with theirs. That’s right, pee is #trending. And though you might not give it much thought until you’re fidgeting in a bathroom queue, giving your urine a good look (or, dare we say, sniff) could fast-track your well-being.
Too bad many of us treat the toilet like Vegas: What happens there stays there, even when we have issues. More than half of us will get a urinary tract infection (UTI), up to 43 percent have an overactive bladder (OAB), and one in eight experiences stress incontinence (dribbling when giggling).
But women are often embarrassed to bring up problems with their doc, says Richard Lee, M.D., an assistant professor of urology at Weill Cornell Medical College. The average gal waits six and a half years to seek a diagnosis. Not acceptable! That’s why we’re breaking the seal on this taboo topic and rounding up all the key deets about your golden spray.
Consult this handy guide to determine what your issue is.
Your Issue: Stress Incontinence
Er, did I just…? moments are common in women who have ever had a vaginal delivery. Plus, 30 percent of us have leaked while exercising, especially during activities that put repetitive pressure on the bladder.
Your relief: Build a strong pelvic floor via Kegels: Thirty times a day, squeeze your pee-stopping muscles, hold for 10 seconds, then release. Or try yoga (shown to reduce drips by up to 30 percent), cut out bladder irritants like caffeine and alcohol, or ask your doc about Rx meds.
Your Issue: Overactive Bladder
Involuntary spasms can cause those “gotta go now” urges. Hints this is you: You pee eight-plus times a day, and frequent flushing keeps you from going out or zonks you after a night of Mother Nature’s wake-up calls.
Your relief: See same relief as stress above.
RELATED: Is It Harmful to Hold in Your Pee?
Your Issue: UTI
Germs can travel from his junk or your back door to the urethra, causing inflammation. If untreated, the bacteria can spread to the kidneys. Signs that’s happened: Your upper back kills, you’re nauseated, and you’ve got a fever.
Your relief: Though UTIs are becoming resistant to antibiotics, they remain your best aid. Per the latest research, cranberry juice can’t kick the bad bugs out. To ward off a UTI, pee after sex to help flush out rogue microbes. Douching? Don’t. It can alter vaginal flora.
Your Issue: STI
An estimated 2.86 million cases of chlamydia and 820,000 cases of gonorrhea occur annually. The infections can spread to the uterus, where they can cause pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility.
Your relief: If you test positive (via a cervical swab or urine analysis), antibiotics will clean house. Avoid sex until the last dose, and to steer clear of reinfection, your guy should get tested even if he has zero signs; half of infected sufferers are symptom-free.
For more about what your pee says about your health, pick up the September 2015 issue of Women’s Health, on newsstands now.
Source: Women’s Health Mag