If you’ve ever had a urinary tract infection, you’re likely familiar with the uncomfortable and painful symptoms that accompany it – the constant urge to urinate and an unbearable burning sensation down below. If that’s the case, then you’d probably do anything to avoid contracting another. Here are some tips on how to identify urinary tract infections and prevent them from happening to you!
Urinary tract infections, also known as UTIs, are extremely common among women. The average woman has a 50% of getting a UTI at some point in their lives and some women are more prone to developing them on a repeated basis. Unfortunately, this can become more prevalent as a woman ages since the decrease in estrogen makes the urinary tract more vulnerable to infection.
UTIs are bacterial infections of mainly the bladder and urethra, but can also affect your kidneys. UTIs are usually caused by E. coli, but other bacteria can cause an infection. It can get progressively worse if the infection is allowed to reach the kidneys, so it’s important to immediately contact a medical professional if you suspect you have one. If you have a UTI you may experience these symptoms:
A burning sensation whenever you urinate
A frequent urge to urinate
Pain/pressure in the pelvis or pain
Your urine appears cloudy
Urine appears red, which indicates blood may be present
Fever/chills for infections reaching the kidneys
If you believe you have a UTI, the best course of action is to see a doctor immediately. They will prescribe antibiotics and possibly something to deal with the pain and discomfort. Also avoid drinks that can aggravate the urinary system such as coffee, alcohol, orange juice, and sodas.
Obviously, you are asking yourself… how can you prevent such a miserable situation in the first place? Here are some tips for doing just that:
Urinate whenever you feel the urge to so and always make sure you empty your bladder entirely. Doing this will flush out bacteria and decrease your risk.
Drink lots of water. While this is something you should be doing already; drinking water helps in two ways. First it dilutes the urine and second it makes certain you urinate more regularly. Both of these actions help flush out bacteria.
Avoid hygiene sprays, scented douches and scented bath products since they can cause irritation.
Urinate immediately after sex to flush out any bacteria.
Wear underwear and pants that allow that area to breathe. Tight fitting clothes can lead to excess moisture and trap heat. That creates an ideal place for bacteria to grow and multiply.
We hope you find these tips helpful! Remember to stay well hydrated throughout the day, especially during the holiday months when you may be consuming excess alcohol. After finishing your course of antibiotics as prescribed by your doctor or medical professional to treat a UTI, consume probiotic drinks and foods to increase the amount of healthy bacteria in your gut. Good luck and stay healthy!