Women of all ages get urinary tract infections at some point or the other. And it is very painful. This is the reason why we always ask our readers to choose the right feminine products, drink lots of water, maintain proper washroom hygiene, and avoid certain food that irritates the bladder. There are a few tips that would usually help you avoid urinary tract infections. We are just going to explore those today.
What is Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)
Your pee generally moves through the urinary system without any kind of contamination. But sometimes, bacteria can get into your urinary system leading to UTIs.
Research says that around 60% of women and 12% of men get UTI at least once in their lifetime. Several Bacteria— especially E. coli is the major reason why women get UTIs so often.
Some of the symptoms include facing pain while peeing and pain in your side or lower back, needing to go to the washroom to pee often, etc. It also may affect your menstrual cycle. Mostly, doctors recommend antibiotics for UTIs. This type of infection can involve:
- Urethra (urethritis)
- Kidneys (pyelonephritis)
- Bladder (cystitis)
In fact, healthcare providers treat 8-10 million people each year for UTIs.
How the Urinary Tract gets infected?
Micro organisms such as bacteria can lead to urinary tract infections. They generally enter the urethra and may infect the bladder. The infection also travels up from your bladder through your ureters and even your kidneys.
Tips to Prevent Urinary Tract Infection
Here are some tips to prevent urinary tract infections:1. Stay Hydrated
Drink plenty of fluids. It is important for you to drink plenty of water per day so that your chance of getting a UTI reduces. Increase your fluid intake and drink lots of water and juices. This will automatically reduce the need for oral antibiotics. Taking a preventive antibiotic helps prevent an infection from developing after intercourse. You may doses of antibiotic just to be on the safer side. Again, we do not recommend you for self-medication. You should ask your doctor for a thorough check-up before you gulp any medicines.2. Practise proper hygiene
Wiping from back to front can transfer the bacteria from the anus and rectum towards the urethral opening. This is the reason why doctors always ask to wipe from front to back. You should always practice ways to keep the bacteria away from the urethral opening. We recommend you read our tips on period health and hygiene.3. Urinate frequently
You can get a kidney infection if you do not pee often. Women who spend more than 4 hours without going to the washroom have an increased chance of developing a UTI. So, it is ideal that you keep a count.4. Wear breathable clothing
There is a reason why Period panties are so popular. You should always opt for breathable and loose-fitting fabric to prevent moisture that causes bacterial growth. Avoid wearing tight pants and thongs when there is no special occasion.5. Opt for showers over baths
While a relaxing bath is something you have been dreaming of all day long, it is better to opt for a shower. Soaking in a tub can enhance the chances of developing a UTI. Stick to showers at the end of the day.6. Choose the right feminine products
You need to choose the right feminine products. This will help you prevent UTI. You should also avoid heavily scented products. The vagina contains microbiome which is a microdynamic ecosystem in itself. It is important for you to take all measures to keep your vagina healthy with a balanced pH level. Using perfumed soaps and bodywashes down there is also a big no-no! Scented feminine products can disrupt the balance, thereby allowing bacteria to grow. It can lead to UTI and yeast infections.
Do not use douches, perfumed pads and tampons, deodorants, or perfumed powders down there. You can wash down there just with plain water. You do not need to scrub. Please be gentle and use the right period product.
7. Incorporate Cranberry Products: It is very important for you to incorporate cranberry products into your diet. Drinking fresh cranberry juice after getting a UTI is a great way to control it. However, we always recommend our readers take a cranberry supplement or start drinking juice at all times. Cranberries contain proanthocyanidins (PACs), which prevent bacteria from adhering to the bladder wall. Cranberries are beneficial for women in more ways than one!
Here are some bonus tips to prevent UTI
Urinate before and after intercourse: While many people are aware of this, UTIs get transferred during sexual activity or intercourse. Bacteria from the perineum can get pushed up against the urethra. You should practise good sexual hygiene by urinating before and after intercourse so that you flush the unwanted bacteria away.
Avoid certain food items: You should also avoid bladder-irritating food items such as coffee, tea and drinks with bubbles, alcohol, pickled foods, citrus fruits, chocolates, etc.
We are not saying that you should eradicate them from your diet but try to have them in moderation.
Follow a good diet: You need to intake probiotics because they increase good gut bacteria. They can also protect you from getting a UTI. There are several ways to intake probiotics which can improve the health of your urinary tract, such as eating fermented foods, taking probiotic supplements, using probiotics suppositories, et al. There are plenty of cranberry supplements available in the market these days, which will prevent you from getting UTIs.
Yogurt is a popular and accessible source of probiotics, containing live cultures like Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus.
UTIs are more common in older women because of forgetfulness of maintaining good hygiene, decreased estrogens levels, decreased immune function, etc.
On a Final note
UTIs can be extremely dangerous and painful and this is the reason why women should practice good hygiene at all times. The infections are uncomfortable and are the most common cause of gross hematuria. Getting a UTI can cause hindrances in your everyday life. It is your duty to take care of your bladder health. It is important that you prioritize your well-being, stay informed, and make conscious choices for a healthier urinary tract and overall vitality.