UTIs (urinary tract infections) may be very uncomfortable and painful. Anyone can develop a UTI, but they are most common in women and can be recurrent. Urinary tract infections are more common in women due to their anatomy. A woman's urethra is shorter than a man’s, resulting in easier access of bacteria getting into the urinary tract and causing an infection. Men can get UTIs, but this usually means they may have a large prostate or kidney stones that are blocking urination.
Common symptoms of a UTI include painful and frequent urination, pain in the bladder area, cloudy or bloody urine, and strong-smelling urine. UTIs are commonly treated with antibiotics, therefore preventing a UTI is easier than treating one. Here are six tips to prevent a UTI.
Drink many fluids, especially water. This causes you to use the bathroom more frequently resulting in flushing out bacteria and toxins from your urinary tract. Try to drink at least 8 to 10 cups of fluids daily.
Cranberry juice or supplement is commonly known to help prevent UTIs. It prevents bacteria from sticking to the lining of the urinary tract.
Urinating before sexual intercourse flushes out any bacteria that is currently in the urinary tract. Emptying your bladder after sexual intercourse helps clear any bacteria that might have entered the urinary tract.
If you’re having trouble urinating after sexual intercourse, try drinking a glass of water.
Try avoiding tight fitting clothes and underwear. Cotton underwear is recommended because it allows better airflow and helps keep the genital area dry. Wearing tight clothing or synthetic material may trap moisture and promote bacterial growth.
Probiotics are known to be the “good” bacteria in your gut. Add probiotic-rich foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, apple cider vinegar and kimchi to your diet. This helps maintain a healthy balance of microorganisms in your body
There are many feminine products that market themselves as odor blockers and pH balancers. Although, they can cause more harm than good. It is best to stay away from these scented soaps, bath perfumes, etc. when washing your genital area. These types of products have harsh chemicals and fragrances that can cause irritation and promote infections. The products disrupt the natural balance of bacteria in your genital area and result in infections.
Another tip for maintaining good hygiene is to wipe from front to back after using the bathroom. Wiping from front to back avoids transferring bacteria.
Holding in your urine for an extended amount of time can cause a UTI. Use the bathroom more frequently to flush out any bacteria trapped in your urinary tract.
By including these tips into your daily routine, you can prevent developing UTIs. If you have UTI symptoms that last more than two or three days, consult your doctor. The bacteria that caused a UTI can travel to your kidneys and cause more complications.