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  • UTI's

    I created an alter to ask this question. Just felt kind of silly asking.

    I am sitting here suffering through yet another bladder infection. In the last year, I have had at least five. The doctor cannot find a reason for the frequent infections. I know all of the "normal" reasons and follow all protocol to prevent them.

    It recently occurred to me that there may be a connection with riding but I am a little too embarrassed to ask the doctor. I ride bareback at least 90 percent of the time. No pad. Just jump on my horse and go. I trail ride a lot and spend hours riding. Has anyone else ever had frequent UTI's that ride bareback? This is not a made-up question. I am really trying to figure out if somehow bacteria works its way into my system that way. My horse is very round-withered and I can't keep a saddle or pad on her very well.

    Anyway, if anyone has had a similar experience, I would like to know. Thanks.

  • #2
    I once had kidney "ulcers", and had endoscopic surgery for it. After the surgery, I had horrible pain and symptoms that mimiced a UTI (feeling of having to pee). I did a lot of research, and discovered that it was eating acidic foods or drinks that caused it. I took an over the counter called PRELIEF and bingo problem solved. During my reading, I learned that this condition is often misdiagnosed as a UTI. Worth a try for you maybe.
    Rest in peace Claudius, we will miss you.


    • #3
      My daughter went through this for years (turned out she had Lyme disease which was making her more susceptible to infections). Try d-mannose which helps to prevent the bacteria from "sticking" and cranberry extract capsules. Drink lots and lots and lots of water.

      I have never heard that riding causes UTI's...my daughter played polo and rode 6 days a week.



      • #4
        Another vote for cranberry juice...copious amounts of it. I had/have your exact problem. Doc did a cystoscopy and found that I had a narrow urethra. He dilated it, and the problem has been a lot less frequent. Doc did mention that I may have to have the procedure done again at some point.
        "A horse gallops with his lungs, perseveres with his heart, and wins with his character." - Tesio


        • #5
          Originally posted by Donkerbruin View Post
          He dilated it, and the problem has been a lot less frequent. Doc did mention that I may have to have the procedure done again at some point.
          I'd honestly rather suffer my bi-annual UTI's than have that done! YEOUCH! I'm a wimp though.

          I really don't think riding bareback would be a cause, OP. I mean, maybe maybe maybe if your horse gets super sweaty and saturates your jeans and undies and bacteria gets introduced really into where it shouldn't be I could think maybe. But really probably not.

          One thing is for sure, they suck. Sorry you've got to deal with them.
          "Aye God, Woodrow..."


          • #6
            I am a long-time lurker that suddenly felt the need to register just to reply to this

            I got really frequent, horrible UTIs for a few years (they usually went straight to my kidneys and resulted in a few ER visits). Who knows, maybe riding/riding bareback was a contributing factor. I hadn't considered that possibility. I thought I was pretty hygenic and couldn't figure out why I was getting them until I got diagnosed with lupus and learned that I'm just really susceptible to infections in general. My body is so busy fighting itself that it doesn't have many resources to fight real threats.

            So, that said, rather than drink copious amounts of cranberry juice, I found something that has completely eliminated, at least up to this point, UTIs for me: cranberry pills. You can get pills that are nothing more than gelatin capsules with pulverized dried cranberries inside. Cranberry pills are consistently shown to be as effective as cranberry juice, but IMO it's a whole lot easier to take a pill once a day than to make sure you drink a glass or three of cranberry juice.

            Good luck!


            • #7
              Make sure you do not try to "hold it"..If you have to urinate, do so. Also, although this is personal, make sure you get up and pee after sex. The friction on the bladder after intercourse can cause irritation. Back in the old days they used to call it "honeymoon" disease..Also, avoid caffeine as much as possible and use cotton underwear. Water, water and more water helps, and cranberry either in juice or pill form will help considerably.


              • #8
                Im also a frequent sufferer of UTIs. I have looked into the whole riding thing but I havent found any solid proof or correlation to riding and getting them. No doubt are they awful to ride with though!!! Here are some of the things that I found pretty much guaranteed me an infection:
                -bubble baths
                -not peeing after "the deed"
                -waiting too long during menstrual time to get to a restroom :P
                -the gulf of mexico!!! (no, seriously.... every time I get in that water I get one... doesnt happen in any other body of water or ocean bah!)
                Sometimes they are just plain ole random!

                If you feel like you get one from riding (bareback I could see it happening if layers are thin between you and the horse) then take precautions against them. Maybe try a bareback pad or getting some soft pantyliners to ride in. Try using different pants. I know that some jeans with the crotch seam too big I get really irritated just wearing them and woudlnt even dream about riding so I tend to be very picky about my jeans.

                If you need relief, AZOs are great if you dont mind the neon orange pee! They dont treat them (and either does cranberry) but they help with relief of symptoms.
                Clancy 17hh chestnut Dutch WB, '99. Owned and loved since '04 and still goin'!


                • #9
                  I got bursitis in my hips from riding bareback, so I think it's highly likely that your riding has this effect on you.

                  My advice is to get a saddle or at least work on changing your seat so you are sitting more on your back pockets.

                  Also, eliminate the four Cs:
                  Carbonated beverages (full of citric acid)
                  Vitamin C

                  I did all of the above except stop drinking coffee, although I cut way down, and I drink water first thing when I wake up to dilute the coffee.
                  2012 goal: learn to ride like a Barn Rat

                  A helmet saved my life.


                  • #10
                    I have really really bad UTI's . I have had 3 surgeries on my kidney for stones...It sucks . Anyway I have noticed that when I ride (endurance) in the heat I get the UTI more often. I also have Lyme so that may be a contributor. What I have been doing is using a pantyliner.....silly since I have had a hysterectomy 12 yrs ago. But it seems to help absorb the moisture and keep "things"drier which in turn reduces the chance of sweaty bacteria from getting "up" there to cause a problem. Because I have had so many issues I am crazy about keeping that area clean. So I use baby wipes after using the potty and always wash after any "adult activity"

                    Aslo as another have said....Dont "hold it," drink a lot, cranberries, Use the potty after "adult activity" keep clean and dry,


                    • #11
                      maybe it isn't the riding that is doing you in but the lack of potty breaks? I know when I do long trail rides it is a pain to have to dismount and pee,sometimes there is no place to go at all depending on where you ride.

                      I have had good luck with probiotics, cranberry and looooooooots of water.A friend of mine swears by drinking lots of alcohol when she feels one coming on,but I haven't tried that one.
                      for more Joy then you can handle


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Long Spot View Post
                        I'd honestly rather suffer my bi-annual UTI's than have that done! YEOUCH! I'm a wimp though.
                        I was under general anesthetic for it; didn't feel a thing! And the after effects weren't that bad.

                        OP, if you haven't been taking AZO, do that too. Turns the pee a horrific color but the relief is worth any price!

                        My doc also had me on a drug called Urelle for a short time. It didn't work for me, but turned my pee BLUE!
                        "A horse gallops with his lungs, perseveres with his heart, and wins with his character." - Tesio


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by tradewind View Post
                          Make sure you do not try to "hold it"..If you have to urinate, do so. Also, although this is personal, make sure you get up and pee after sex. The friction on the bladder after intercourse can cause irritation. Water, water and more water helps, and cranberry either in juice or pill form will help considerably.
                          ^This, absolutely! Definitely the peeing after sex! I also found dating guys with vasectomies helped a LOT as diaphragms also tended to make mine worse (and oral BC was not an option!!)

                          Water water water for sure. When I went overseas (Kenya) I think I had a lifetime supply of Pyridium (turns your pee orange but sure works!)


                          • #14
                            It could be what's called interstitial cystitis, which is not always recognized by some doctors. In other words, doctors will test the urine for bacteria whenever a patient has cystitis symptoms, and if there's no detectable bacteria in the urine, the doctor may not accept that the patient actually has cystitis, despite the symptoms.

                            I have had similar problems. The only things that work for me are, 1) drink water; 2) drink water; 3) drink water, 4) keep the nether regions clean, but don't use soap, medicated wipes or anything except, you guessed it, water.

                            In warmer weather, you should drink extra water, and juice or other liquids. But any kind of sugary liquid, including cranberry fruit cocktail, doesn't really hydrate you.

                            Some people may find that certain foods or drinks make the symptoms worse (perhaps by increasing the inflammation). It can be useful to track what you eat and drink just to keep tabs on that.

                            Good luck.
                            "The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions." --Dostoevsky


                            • #15
                              I can relate. As a young rider who hopped on bareback in shorts every day I dealt with UTI pain. Turned out it was not an infection but an irritation of the urethra from pressure - which came from riding bareback. Try a bareback pad and the cranberry idea, and I bet you will get relief!
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