What are some tips for UTI prevention?
- Ensure you’re getting enough fluids
- Thoroughly wipe from front to back
- Take Vitamin C supplements
- Drink cranberry juice
- Urinate before and after intercourse
- Avoid holding in urine
A urinary tract infection or UTI is a widespread infection that takes place when bacteria from either the skin or rectum enter the urethra. This leads to an infection which not only affects this part of the body, but may also spread throughout the ureters, kidneys, or bladder. These types of infections are usually medically-treated with antibiotics, but you can also take a number of UTI prevention tips to reduce your chances of getting infected in the first place.
Although anyone — regardless of age and gender — can get an infection in the urinary tract, the risk factors for women are significantly higher. This is because women have a much shorter urethra, meaning the E.coli bacteria that causes UTI may reach the urinary tract faster. This leads to contamination between the perineum area that’s located between the external genitals and the anus, and the urethral region.
Many cases of UTI don’t always exhibit signs and symptoms. But when they do, they often manifest in painful sensations when urinating, constant urge to urinate, passing only small amounts of urine, urine that’s reddish in color, pelvic pain, etc. The key to reducing your risk for infection therefore, lies in taking effective preventive measures. Read on .
Ensure You’re Getting Enough Fluids
As mentioned before, the main bacteria that causes UTI is E.coli, which comes from the rectum. In order for you to flush out any bacteria present, it’s crucial that you drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.
Drinking water aids in diluting your urine and ensures frequent urination. Even before an infection can begin, this is effective enough to protect the urethra from bacterial infection.
As much as possible, you’ll want to aim for at least 6 to 8 glasses of water a day — equivalent to around 1.5 to 2 Liters of water. Even if you’re not thirsty or parched, make it a habit to make drinking water a part of your daily diet. Although this may make your trips to the bathroom much more frequent, you’ll be protecting yourself better from UTI. Water also helps cleanse the body, facilitate proper digestion, stabilize blood pressure, and contribute to cardiac health.
Thoroughly Wipe From Front to Back
When cleaning yourself after bathroom use, practice proper cleaning of your genitals. Do this by wiping front to back, as this may decrease the risk of transmitting E.coli from the anus and then into the urethra.
For those who may be suffering from diarrhea, cleaning the genitals may be more difficult due to difficulty in controlling bowel movements. In such cases, it’s crucial to practice proper cleaning and washing in order to lower the chances of E.coli bacteria to spread to the urethral area.
Take Vitamin C Supplements
Aside from consuming vitamin C-rich food sources like oranges, broccoli, potatoes, lemon, strawberries, and the like, a good way to meet the daily recommended intake for this vitamin is by taking supplements. Adequate vitamin C consumption does have a hand in acidifying the urine. This creates an antibacterial effect that reduces the likelihood of E.coli or other bacteria from attaching to the lining of the urethra and bladder.
One caplet of Puritan’s Pride Vitamin C-500mg in particular is enough to get your daily fix of vitamin C. More than just its antibacterial properties, vitamin C also contributes to a stronger immune system and acts as an anti-inflammatory vitamin, helping fight off cell-damaging free radicals.
Drink Cranberry Juice
Previous research has suggested that when cranberry juice enters the digestive system, any active compounds in the juice don’t get destroyed, but help fight off bacteria like E.coli.
Like with vitamin C, cranberry juice also has some active ingredients called metabolites that prevent the E.coli from adhering to other bacteria. This limits their ability to proliferate, and produce an infection in the urethra.
No guidelines have been set on how much cranberry juice is ideal for UTI treatment, but it’s recommended to drink around 400mL of pure or at least 25% cranberry juice daily.
Urinate Before And After Intercourse
In general, engaging in sexual activities increases a UTI, especially among women. This is because during sex, bacteria will easily enter the urethra. Avoiding this is possible by making sure that you urinate before and after intercorse as much as possible.
Another good preventive measure against UTI is to gently wash the genital region prior to sex. As part of good hygiene, this keeps the genitals clean and minimizes bacterial growth and spread to the urethra.
Avoid Holding In Urine
Holding in urine is not recommended because it may potentially expose the body to harmful bacteria. This will then increase chances of the body contracting a urinary tract infection, affecting bladder functioning, and damage to surrounding urinary tract structures.
Knowing all of these, make it a habit to take a trip to the bathroom every time you need to. The average individual will urinate around 8 times daily during the day and a few times in the evening — depending on fluid intake. Be mindful of your urination frequency and don’t let daily activities impede urinary health.
UTI can come in many forms but it’s characterized as a bacterial infection in the urethral area. The symptoms may be a combination of two or more of the following, namely: burning sensation during urination, taking too many trips to the bathroom, a reddish-colored urine, pelvic pain (in women), and the like.
Doctor-prescribed treatment is ultimately the best remedy for any type of urinary tract infection. But as part of good health, these UTI prevention tips may be effective in avoiding the disease.