Love to travel? You may be exposed to these urinary bladder concerns

Updated on: 8 February 2022, 11:28 am IST

Due to the lack of safe, clean, and hygienic washrooms, women travelers are at a high risk of developing bladder problems.

Dr Anand M
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urinary infections during travel
Stay hydrated and hygienic to avoid urinary infections. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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Travelling offers a fun element, and the opportunity to explore new destinations. However, several travelers fall ill during their journey, or after their return. The common illnesses that plague travelers include skin problems, vomiting, diarrhea, respiratory tract infection, and urinary tract infection. In addition, the majority of women travelers have safety and privacy issues using bathrooms. As a result, many of them often delay relieving themselves, and that impacts their urinary tract or urinary bladder health.

Bladder concerns among women travelers

Several times, women tourists do not have access to safe and hygienic toilets. The situation becomes more complicated, when women choose travel solo. It may result in the following problems related to the urinary system:

1. Urinary tract infection

Apart from the unavailability of clean and hygienic toilet spaces, other reasons also increase the chances of urinary tract infection in women travelers. The urethra of the female is shorter, making them more vulnerable to infection. The trouble is further increased due to the closeness of the female urinary tract to the anus. Lack of hygienic and safe places during traveling, especially at night, forces the women to hold their urge for urination for a significant period. It also contributes to urinary tract infections.

women and bladder concerns
Urinary tract infections can cause extreme discomfort. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

2. Urinary tract stones

The formation of urinary tract stones is also a problem for frequent travelers. The primary reason for this is dehydration. During travelling, especially to hot tourist spots, people generally do not consume adequate water, resulting in dehydration.

3. Urinary retention

Most often, women need to hold their urge for urination for a long time. It results in several bladder complications. These are urinary tract infections and the weakening of the bladder muscles. Bladder muscle weakening may result in a stretched bladder.

4. Urinary incontinence

Women travelers are at increased risk for developing urinary incontinence. It brings with it embarrassment and irritation. In addition, the condition may cause urinary leakage while coughing and sneezing. It is also caused due to the weakening of the pelvic floor muscles.

5. Pain

Women may also experience pain due to urinary tract infection and overstretching of the bladder muscles. Those women with urinary tract infections may also experience a burning sensation during urination.

Preventing urinary bladder problems

There are several ways to prevent bladder problems during travelling. Some of them are:

1. Drink an adequate amount of water

Most women travelers do not drink sufficient water due to fear of urination. However, it does more harm than good. Dehydration may result in urinary tract infection and increase the risk of stone formation. Therefore, it is essential to drink sufficient water while travelling.

women and bladder concerns
Experts advise you to drink 7-8 glasses of water a day. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

2. Make women friends while travelling

Sometimes, the bus stops at local restaurants during the trip. Unfortunately, most of these places do not have specific washroom facilities. Therefore, women, especially those travelling solo, may ask the other women to guard the peeing zone.

3. Prefer to travel by train, if possible

Women may like to travel by train as in-train washroom facilities are available. However, if a journey by train is not possible, women travelers may also opt for buses fitted with a washroom.

4. Carry toilet sanitizer sprays

Always carry the toilet sanitizer spray while travelling. It will help reduce the risk of infection when urinating in public urinals.

5. Gain knowledge about the area

If you are traveling internationally, know the language of that country to ask about the washrooms. Further, you may also locate the nearby urinals in that area if you stay there for long.

5. Use technology

Technology also plays a significant role in helping the urinary problems in women travelers. Our phone apps can locate public toilets in unknown areas. Further, disposable urinals are available that can convert the urine into a solid gel. Women travelers may carry these disposable urinals.

Dr Anand M Dr Anand M

Dr Anand M Senior Consultant - UrologyHe has an expertise in the field of Laparoscopic and Laser urology, Endourology, Reconstructive Urology, Female urology, Manipal Hospital, Malleshwaram

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