Urinary tract infections are common today, especially in women. In fact, more than half of all women experience at least one UTI in their lifetime. The good news is that there are several ways to prevent UTIs from happening in the first place. Let’s look at some of the most effective ways to do that.
Holding your urine for too long can sometimes result in bacterial infection. When you fully empty your bladder every 2 to 3 hours, you will help flush out bacteria from your urinary tract before any infection can set in. You do not need to wait until your bladder feels full. The longer urine remains in the bladder, the greater the chance bacteria can multiply.
After urinating or emptying your bowels, always wipe from the front to the back. This simple practice can help prevent bacteria from spreading from the rectal region to the vagina and urethra.
The more water you drink, the more frequent you will need to urinate. You’ll also dilute your urine and flush bacteria from your urinary tract more often. Studies show that drinking more water can cut someone’s chances of a UTI in half. Drink water as soon as you wake up to help flush out urine that has been in the body overnight, and drink regularly throughout the day.
One of the most common ways bacteria is introduced to the bladder is through vaginal intercourse. Urinating immediately after intercourse helps flush bacteria from your body and prevents bacteria from multiplying to cause a UTI.
In addition to urinating after intercourse, you should also drink water directly after intercourse. This will help flush bacteria from your body and help you urinate more readily after intercourse.
Too much friction during sex can cause irritation around the urethra and allow UTI causing bacteria to be introduced. Water-based lubrication during intercourse will help reduce friction and lessen the chances of infection.
For people who get UTIs often, changing your birth control may help. Spermicides and diaphragms can contribute to UTI-causing bacterial growth and can also kill good bacteria that help protect against UTIs. Consult your physician for possible alternative birth control options.
Cleaning your genital area regularly can help reduce bacteria around the urethra, thus keeping harmful bacteria from entering the bladder. In addition to regular cleaning, always clean the genital area before and after intercourse.
In addition to the preventative steps above, doctors may also prescribe certain antibiotics. These antibiotics can help, especially in women who are prone to UTIs and to take after intercourse. Ask your doctor if an antibiotic is right for you.
You may also be able to make some small changes to your diet that can help you prevent UTIs. Drinking more water and cranberry juice can help, as well as taking a probiotic. Also consider adjusting your diet to include more calcium-rich foods and foods rich in antioxidants.
If you suffer from urinary tract infections often, give us a call. You can greatly reduce your chances of another UTI and get help treating a UTI if you have one.