Constantly getting up at night to go to the bathroom is very annoying. Assuming your doctor has ruled out other causes for your UTI's (ex: cystitis, kidney diseases, etc.), then I may have some useful suggestions for you, assuming you don't want to go as far as catherizing yourself just to get some sleep.
I used ergonomic tricks for over 20 years to stave off self-cathing because I worried about getting more infections from self-cathing. It may sound silly and look absolutely absurd, but who cares, it works. I wrote about this on my blog and got positive comments from other MSers.
Relieve yourself in sitting position, as usual. Bend forward to a 45 degree angle and hold position for 60-90 secs. Let any urine release. Now lean to your right side lifting left buttock about 3 inches off the toilet seat. Hold for 60 seconds and release any urine. Now lean to your left side, lifting up right buttock. Hold for 60 seconds and release any urine.
Believe me, this works! Body positioning is key for this to work. You will be good for at least two hours of sleep (or more) because you are empty. Try to limit your intake of tea, coffee, juices, alcholic drinks, or energy drinks since they stimulate your bladder moreso. Stick to water, no more than 3 sixteen ounces spread out over your day.
So many items are scented these days, sometimes we don't even notice it. Keep track of the hygenic paper products you use - are they perfumed or stored in an area where you store cleaning products where the scent can carryover? Do you use scented feminine products (douches, pads, paper products)? Are you a powder user? Do you wear nylon cothing next to your body without the benefit of a cotton barrier (underwear or inserts)?
Regarding foods - which is often the biggest culprit after scented products - I found that cinnamon was my personal culprit and it seemed that when I treated myself to homemade chocolate chip cookies, cheesecake (cinnamon in the crust), or anything that had cinnamon as an ingredient, within 3 days I had a UTI.
It took more than three months for me to figure this out because of the many ingredients in foods. So read your labels, keep a food diary (write down everything!) and see if your trigger is food related. A food diary may be the only way to narrow this down.
***Self-catherization is the last resort....you don't want to go there if you don't have to. But if you do, positioning in order to self-cath is the hardest part. Experiment with what works best for you.
For my own personal experience, by watching my diet with a food diary and knowing my food triggers, I have had only one UTI this year so far - and it was non-food related. It was because of swimming in a public pool on a cruise in April. It was the first time I had been in chlorine in five years and I just knew it was going to cause a UTI. Sure enough....Within 24 hours, I had a UTI.
A reminder to ANYONE who takes bladder medication to deter urine output (not people who take medication to promote urine output - ex: Lasix): When you get a UTI, the last thing you want to do is restrict urine output. I myself stop my Detrol until antibiotics are done. I want the infection OUT as soon as possible and do not want the urine to stay in. Consult your doctor first before you make changes in your medication schedule.
I hope you find some useful information here and that you will write back to let us know how you are doing,
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