Beth Allan
Aug 6 · 3 min read

The Dangerous Silent Stigma in Women’s Health

How Staying Mum on Delicate Issues May Have Deadly Implications

UTIs are one of the world’s largest bacterial infections today, affecting more than half the world’s population — mostly women. With an intense onset, they are obvious from the moment they strike, and their effects can range from days of discomfort to kidney damage and even death if not quickly or properly treated.

So why do so many women stay silent and in pain surrounding UTIs?

With 41 million women expected to experience a UTI each year, it is shocking that there is so much misinformation about UTIs. Recently, the worldwide antibiotic resistance epidemic covered by major media sources has opened up the discussion and shed light on this all too common issue. Dangerous health complications occur when UTIs are unrecognized or left untreated. Once they spread to the bloodstream, they can become life-threatening in just a matter of days.

Almost half (45%) of all women are embarrassed to talk about having UTIs, and many more (68%) are uncomfortable sharing helpful information about UTI’s online. This is the definition of a stigma and it stems from taboo topics such as cleanliness and chasteness. But, if we don’t have the conversation about the causes, the treatment options may not be the correct course of action. Therefore, as the acting spokesperson for Goodbye UTI, I want to set the record straight — no blushing or gasping. Just the facts, ladies.

UTIs are often caused by E. coli bacteria, which is found around the vagina and rectum and can easily enter the urinary tract system and cause infection. This is why girls are taught to wipe from front to back, why the use of thongs are discouraged for vaginal health and why sitting around in a wet bathing suit or damp yoga pants does women no favors “down there”. The second factor surrounding the silent stigma is that sex can be a factor in bringing bacteria into the urinary system during intercourse. And if you have a UTI, maybe you are having too much sex? Not the case. Usually, it is due either to not urinating properly after sex, or the fact that your partner is carrying the bacteria unbeknownst to them.

And women aren’t the only ones who are shying away from this topic. Your doctor won’t tell you this, but antibiotics are no longer effective in treating UTI’s. Read the article just published by the New York Times. And infectious disease experts are raising the alarm bells:

Antibiotic resistance is now considered an urgent threat to public health; one of the primary infections global health officials are focusing on is the UTI. The combination of the E Coli bacteria’s ability to easily evolve, and overexposure to antibiotics (due to high prescription rates) is what makes UTIs such a looming threat.” — Dr. Rupa Kanapathipillai, an infectious diseases advisor at Doctors Without Borders

We’re seeing bacteria that are resistant to all antibiotics, except for drugs that have either a lot of bad side effects or are often associated with treatment failure. That’s a big concern.” — Mayora Walters, epidemiologist, Centers for Disease Control

Taking drugs that are not effectively curing this growing infection can lead to blood in the urine, kidney damage, get into the blood system and cause eventual death.

Our hope is to spread awareness about how to deal with UTIs and how to prevent them. If education can make the difference between life and death, or even additional discomfort in the countless women who suffer from this all too common, misconceived issue, we won’t stay silent. Please see our video to learn more about how a natural supplement known as Goodbye UTI is quickly replacing antibiotics as the new way to combat UTI’s.

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