A curse on the holiday trip
A curse on the holiday trip

Travelling to places to explore new culture, tradition and food sounds exciting. But your bladder always plays a spoil sport by forcing you to hunt for restroom in unknown locations which might fill you with panic and stress. This is the most common query people come up with, on how to deal with the overactive bladders whilst travelling and also avoid contracting infections. 

What is it
Bladder infection is a common form of urine infection also termed as cystitis. Women are more vulnerable to such infections than men due to their shorter urethra and more because of their urethra being close to rectum, where germs are found in highest numbers. It has been reported from the studies that half of all women are affected at least once by Cystitis in their lifetime. It is not a complicated disease but if ignored it can turn out to be chronic and painful.

The bacteria is found growing in the rectum which easily rides to the bladder through the urethra causing the infection. Urine collected in bladder become breeding ground for bacteria. This is what happens when someone is travelling and finds no place to relieve themselves. The bacteria acts faster thereby increase the risk of infection. 

The symptoms can be excessive urination than normal, along with burning sensation, discomfort and pain while urinating. The frequency along with the pain in the lower abdomen, blood in the urine as well as foul odor is some more signs of the infection. Fever, nausea, vomiting and back pain are also a part of the symptoms which occur when complications turn up.

The infection can be easily avoided by drinking water every 2-3 hours which in turn will help in more urination leading to clearance of any existing germs. One should not control urination. Regular consumption of citrus fruit juices will help you stay away from infection. Sanitary pads must be included instead of tampons. 

Wearing cotton underwear and loose-fitting clothes would be preferably comfortable if someone is exposed to such infections. Underwear must be changed regularly without fail to add up to the hygiene. Cleaning or wiping the front and the back with a clean cloth after urinating is mandatory as well. If the above points can be kept on check, the infection can easily be avoided. And if any complication persists, one should immediately consult with a doctor over phone or visit them. 

Bladder infections or any other urinary infections can be extremely distressing, especially while travelling, as proper medication in an emergency can be burdensome. Hence, for a happy holiday, few precautions should be taken into account if the person is prone to such infections. 

By: Dr Prem Kumar
The writer is a consultant urologist, uro-oncologist, andrologist and renal transplant surgeon Fortis Hospital