If you suffer from UTIs on a regular basis, you are not alone. More importantly, understand that there is something you can do about it, as there are numerous ways to avoid future infections. Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about UTIs and how to prevent them.
What is a UTI?
How many of you started chugging cranberry juice after getting a UTI? The juice, without a doubt, will help. But why not prevent it from happening in the first place?
A urinary tract infection (UTI) is the most frequent yet embarrassing infection that affects roughly 50% to 60% of women at some point in their life, although it can strike anyone.
Wait! What is a UTI? If you want a proper definition then, A urinary tract infection (UTI, is an infection that affects the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra, among other parts of the urinary system. The most usually infected components of the urinary tract are the bladder and urethra. However, if you want to see what a UTI looks like, read the symptoms listed in this article, which you may have experienced but were unaware were symptoms of a UTI.
UTIs are prevalent but worry not, there are ways to reduce your chances of developing one. We’ll go through the risks, causes, symptoms, and preventative measures you may take to reduce your chances of getting a UTI in this article.
Who is at more risk?
A urinary tract infection affects women more frequently than males. This is due to the fact that women’s urethras — the tubes that carry urine from the bladder — are shorter. Bacteria can more easily enter the urethra and bladder as a result of this. Apart from this, there are many reasons women are most likely to get UTIs is because of some specific contraception, menopause, pregnancy, and many more.
You’re not alone if you feel like you’ve had a dozen urinary tract infections. UTIs affect up to 60% of women at some point in their lives, and many women experience recurrent UTIs, which are defined as two or more infections in six months or three or more infections in a year. In fact, up to 40% of women who develop a UTI will develop another one within six months.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are more common in women, although they can also afflict men, the elderly, and children. Infections in the urinary tract affect one to two percent of children. Urinary tract infections cause 8 million to 10 million annual doctor visits.
Why did you get it in the first place?
Many people believe they can acquire UTIs from a filthy toilet seat, but is this true? According to Dr. Tanya, or you may know her as Dr.Cuterus, “You don’t get UTIs from dirty toilet seats. Because the dirty bacteria don’t have the ability to go directly from the toilet seat to your pee hole, no matter how unclean the toilet seat is”. Now that we’ve ruled out the common misconception, let’s look at the factors that can raise your chances of getting a urinary tract infection:
- Having poor hygiene
- Not drinking enough water
- Waiting too long to empty the bladder
- Difficulty fully emptying the bladder
- Suffering from vesicoureteral reflux, a condition that causes the urine to flow backward
- Being sexually active
- Having had a previous UTI
However, if you’ve had multiple UTIs, you’ve seen how much of an impact they can have on you. You can rest assured, though, that they are unlikely to be the result of anything you’ve done. “Recurrent UTIs aren’t caused by bad hygiene or anything else that women do on their own. Some women are more prone to UTIs than others ” Dr. Kalpana Gupta, an infectious diseases specialist, and Harvard Medical School instructor agrees.
What are the symptoms and when to see a doctor?
Unless you’re one of the lucky few women who has never experienced a urinary tract infection (UTI), you’re familiar with the symptoms and if you are amongst those few lucky women, The following are the most common indications of a urinary tract infection you should look out for:
- An intense urge to pee
- A burning feeling when you pee
- Urge to urinate repeatedly, even if little or no urine is produced
- Cloudy urine
- Dark yellow, brown, pink, or red urine
- Foul-smelling urine
- Fever or chills
- Back or lower abdominal pain or pressure
If you are experiencing more than one symptom from the above list, it’s time to visit your doctor because as common as getting UTIs is, it can be treated with simple antibiotic medications.
How to prevent getting UTIs?
Within six months, 25% to 30% of women who have had a urinary tract infection experience a recurrence. The infection may reappear if the tract becomes infected again or if the treatment did not completely cure the infection. Also, not practicing good hygiene invites UTIs. Here are some ways to lower your chances of a urinary tract infection in the future to avoid the painful experience.
1) Stay hydrated
Bacteria will face a tough time forming an illness if you flush your urinary tract on a regular basis. Tea, coffee, and other caffeinated beverages should be avoided since they dehydrate the body. When it comes to hydration, the best option is water. Make it a daily goal to drink at least eight glasses of water. If you have trouble drinking enough water on a daily basis, consider purchasing a bottle with defined measurements to keep track of how much you have left to drink for the day.
2) Avoid holding your pee
When you hold your urine for more than four hours after experiencing an urge, bacteria can proliferate. Make sure to go to the bathroom as soon as you feel the urge and to thoroughly empty your bladder, especially if you’re pregnant, because pregnancy increases your risk of a UTI.
3) Wipe from the front to the back
You might not acquire UTIs from dirty toilet seats, but if you wipe back to front after urinating, there’s a good chance you will. This allows the bacteria from the butthole to spread to yourpeehole, resulting in infection. Wiping from the front to the rear, on the other hand, reduces the danger of bacteria spreading from the anus to the urethra.
4) Urinate before and after sex
Sexual activity increases your chances of getting a UTI if you’re a woman. This is because bacteria can easily enter the urethra during sex. To reduce your risk, pee right before and after sex. The goal is to wash away bacteria that can cause urinary tract infections. If possible, gently wash before and after to reduce the chance of bacteria spreading.
5) Wear cotton underwear
Synthetic materials retain moisture and provide the ideal environment for infection to thrive. To avoid retaining moisture and developing bacteria around your urethra, use breathable cotton. Wear loose-fitting bottoms that allow air to circulate around the vaginal area if you are prone to UTIs. You can wear loose-fitting boxers or shorts at night.
6) Prefer taking a shower over baths
While taking a bath can be soothing, especially at the end of a long day, sitting in dirty tub water has been linked to an increased risk of UTI. The wetness in bathtubs may aid bacterial growth. Stick to showers instead. If you must indulge in a soothing bath, keep it short.
UTI’s can be cured!
Even the best attempts to prevent a UTI don’t always succeed, especially if you have a history of recurrent UTIs. If you detect any of the signs of a urinary tract infection, you should get treatment from a doctor. Your doctor will put you on medication to cure it. Consult your doctor about the best ways to avoid a urinary tract infection. You can talk about various alternatives and see what feels right for you.