Urinary tract infection or UTI is a common condition that can happen when there is an infection in the urinary system, particularly, the urethra and bladder. When you have this condition, you feel an urge to urinate frequently. While UTIs can be common, you can stay away from them and minimize your risks of getting infected. You can stay away from urinary tract infections by following some healthy guidelines and prevention tips.
Prevention tips for UTI
1. Practice good self-hygiene
It is very important to practice hygienic habits, especially when you are a woman. The urethra in women is far shorter than in men, making it super easy for the E.coli bacteria to find its way into the body from your rectum. This is why women are advised to wipe front to back after bowel movements. Good hygiene is especially important during the menstrual cycle to avoid such infections. Women are advised to change their tampons and sanitary pads regularly and refrain from using feminine deodorants.
It is necessary to drink lots of water and fluids throughout the day to stay hydrated. This ensures that you visit the toilet regularly and this helps to flush out all bacteria from the urinary tract. It is recommended that you have 6-8 glasses of water every day. You can also have herbal teas, smoothies, milk, etc.
3. Avoid holding urine
One of the key prevention tips for UTI is never holding back your urine. This tends to encourage the growth of harmful bacteria. You must not wait for more than 4 hours to visit the toilet.
4. Avoid scented products
Since the women’s vagina has many microbes that keep it healthy and maintain the pH balance, it is best to avoid using feminine products that can disrupt this balance. Such products like scented powders, scented tampons, and pads, deodorant sprays, etc., can lead to yeast infections and UTIs. Scented soaps and bath oils should be avoided as these can irritate the area and disrupt the balance.
5. Birth control
Some birth control options may cause the growth of harmful bacteria like non-lubricated condoms, spermicides, and diaphragms. When you find that these may be causing UTI, it is best to switch to other options after consulting your doctor.
6. Have probiotics
Probiotics improve gut bacteria and help in the growth of healthy urinary tract bacteria, which prevents UTIs from developing. To make this happen, try to include fermented foods in your meals like kefir, yogurt, tempeh, or take probiotic supplements.
7. Oral antibiotics
When your UTIs keep happening and do not respond to treatments, your doctor may recommend a daily antibiotic dose to stop the growth of harmful urinary tract bacteria.
8. Eat cranberries
These are traditional home remedies for treating UTIs. The berries contain proanthocyanidins that can stop E.coli from getting attached to urinary tract tissues.
9. Avoid tight clothes
When you wear loose cotton clothing or cotton underwear, it keeps the area dry and prevents bacterial growth.
10. Shower regularly
Taking showers instead of baths is also advised for people who tend to get UTIs very often.