5 Myths Dispelled by a Urogynecologist


1. DRINKING LOTS OF WATER IS HEALTHY – Although water is healthy and should be your beverage of choice, we can, actually, drink too much water. The more water we drink the thirstier we actually are because the kidneys stop concentrating fluid. As a result, water will not be absorbed efficiently and it gets eliminated rapidly. If we drink what our body needs, the water will be managed appropriately, so that we are not only well hydrated, but we are not urinating all of the time.

2. BATHS CAN CAUSE URINARY TRACT INFECTIONS – Taking a luxurious bath does not cause urinary tract infections. Baths can dry out the vaginal tissue which causes itching and irritation. The best defense is to coat the vagina, inside and out, with Aquaphor, Vaseline or Coconut oil before getting into the tub.

3. CRANBERRY PILLS PREVENT URINARY TRACT INFECTIONS (UTIS) – Women who suffer from urinary tract infections desperately want to prevent them. Cranberry pills, supplements, and extracts have not proven to be effective in staving off UTI’s. The best prevention is eating healthfully, exercising, and sleeping well, to boost the immune system. Having antibiotics on hand to treat a UTI when symptoms arise, in spite of the best efforts at prevention, is the best strategy.

4. HOLDING YOUR URINE IS BAD FOR YOU – There is a balance between urinating too much and not enough. Normal urinary frequency is 8 times in 24 hours, which is about every three hours. If you are urinating more often than that, try to retrain your bladder to hold it for longer. Urinating is part physiologic and part behavioral. If you drink too much (see myth #1) or if you respond to every urge, behavior modification should be instituted. That involves drinking less and training yourself to hold it. If these strategies are not effective, consult with a specialist.

5. THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN DO FOR VAGINAL DRYNESS AND PAINFUL SEX – Vaginal dryness is a result of low estrogen, which results from breast cancer treatments, birth control pills, and natural menopause. Treatments used to be limited to lubricants and estrogen replacement products. For the last three years, a gentle, painless office based therapy has been introduced. It is a laser that replaces the natural lubrication of the vagina through regrowth and regeneration of healthy tissue.

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