What is Urethral Syndrome?
Urethral Syndrome mimics many of the symptoms of urinary tract infection (UTI) such as:
- Urinary frequency
- Pain and pressure in the lower abdomen and vulva region that is not relieved through urination
- Pain on urinating
- Pain with sex
No bacteria found in a Urine Test?
Unlike a UTI, a urine culture test often shows little or no bacteria, which is why urethral syndrome is also referred to as “symptomatic abacteriuria, sterile pyuria or urethral syndrome.” This syndrome is much more common in women than men and other than being more prone to developing this if you have experienced one or more UTIs in your life, it is harder to single out the specific cause.
Urethral syndrome is a term used when of one or more typical cystitis symptoms occur in women who present with low numbers of bacteria in urine culture (i.e., usually <102 bacteria/mL). Most laboratories do not routinely work up or follow up on low count urine cultures, so clinically the urine is considered "sterile".
Sterile pyuria is the presence of elevated numbers of white cells (>10 white cells/mm3) in urine which appears sterile.
Sterile pyuria is not an uncommon laboratory finding because:
- Standard laboratory culture conditions may not be optimal for growth of atypical organisms.
- A laboratory may not report significant growth either because it was not a single organism or a recognised urinary pathogen.
- Studies have shown that approximately half of women presenting with symptoms and counts of 100-10,000 CFU/mL have bladder infections.
Your focus should be on finding the cause.
Stamm and colleagues (Stamm WE, Wagner KF, Amsel R, et al: Causes of an acute urethral syndrome in women. N Engl J Med 303:409-415, 1980) have established that urethral samples should be cultured. Otherwise tested for pathogens in women who are sexually active and have documented pyuria with persistently "negative" urine cultures. They suggest some potential causes to investigate:
- Cystitis Escherichia coli
- Herpes simplex virus
- Vaginitis Candida
- Trichomonas vaginalis
Treatments for Urethral Syndrome
Is an all-natural essential “sugar “which, coupled with some other lifestyle choices can help to relieve pain and reduce inflammation of the urethral syndrome in several ways by:
- Treating any underlying infection caused by a low level bacterial presence that standard urine culture and sensitivity tests do not pick up. D-Mannose treats the most common cause of bacterial infection by attaching to E-Coli and flushing it out of the body.
- Activating M2 macrophages (a form of white blood cell), to clean inflammatory debris and pathogens.
- Stimulating fibroblasts (connective tissue cells), to produce proteoglycans and collagen.
- Repairing and reducing scar tissue and reducing pain.
- Reducing systemic inflammation by cutting down the enzymes that would typically trigger T-Cell flow to the damaged area.
Diabetics take D Mannose (there are no added sugars of any kind to pure D Mannose) but should monitor blood-sugar levels and consult their GP before supplementing with D-Mannose.
What Else Can Help?
- Keep well hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids to help flush through the urinary system
- Avoid using scented or perfumed products in baths or to clean the genital area (clean with a mix of bicarbonate of soda and hot water or use hypoallergenic, unscented products to clean)
- Use uncoloured and unscented toilet paper, pads, tampons
- Urinate before and after sex and avoid positions that could irritate the urethra
- Wear cotton underwear
- Avoid cycling for long journeys
- Avoid tight-fitting clothes
- If you use a diaphragm, consider swapping it to another form of birth control
- Empty your bladder whenever you feel you need to - do not hold in urine
- Try to eat an 80%/20%Alkalising Diet
- Be tested for Candida