Struggle with recurrent UTIs? Make these 7 UTI prevention tips a habit.
Sometimes UTIs are out of your hands, but there are many factors that are in your control. Here are 7 small changes that can make a big difference.
1. Treat your water bottle like your phone-- don’t leave your house without it.
"Fluid helps move things through the urinary tract, but it also dilutes the urine so bacteria can't grow”, states Kimberly Cooper, MD, a urologist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center. If your access to purified water is limited throughout the day, LifeStraw and Brita bottles have purifiers in them so you can fill up whenever and wherever.
2. Wipe from front to back.
Bacteria in your urethra comes from two main places: your rectum and your vagina. The main reason rectal bacteria makes its way to the urethra and the vagina in from improper wiping after a bowel movement. Make sure to wipe from front to back to keep fecal matter away from your vagina and urethra.
3. Urinate after sex and drink a glass of water.
Yay, you just had sex! Go have a celebratory pee to flush out any bacteria that may have migrated from the vagina to the urethra during sex. If you can’t go right away, stay hydrated and go as soon as possible.
4. Consider probiotics.
You can use probiotics to help maintain the population of normal flora (good bacteria) in your urinary tract and reproductive system. When you have an infection, your body is invaded by pathogenic organisms (bad bacteria) that make you more vulnerable to infections of the vaginal tracts such as UTIs and Bacterial Vaginosis . While the effectiveness of probiotics and UTI prevention is still being researched, consider taking a daily supplement of probiotics. You can also add yogurt or kombucha to your daily diet
5. Let her breathe!
Wet bathing suits, tight pants, and sweaty gym clothes trap moisture which harbors bacteria. If you are prone to UTIs, change right after your workout or beach day. If you can’t resist a good pair of tight jeans-- slip into something cotton (or commando) as soon as you get home.
6. Ditch the douche.
As if there aren’t enough reasons to keep douches far away from your vagina, they also kill the good bacteria (lactobacillus) you need to combat a UTI. Maintain your natural balance instead of squirting harmful antiseptic water up your vagina.
7. Avoid holding your pee for prolonged amounts of time.
We’re not saying to go when you feel the slightest urge-- over time that weakens your pelvic floor and decreases the size of your bladder. However, holding your urine for a long time allows bacteria to multiply within the urinary tract, resulting in a bladder infection or UTI.
What about antibiotics?
Although antibiotics are likely to be effective in the short term, continuing to use them can have a serious, long-term impact on your health. If you suffer from recurrent UTIs you may build a tolerance to antibiotics. Also consider the short-term side effects like nausea, diarrhea or opportunistic infections like yeast infections. You can talk to your doctor about preventative (prophylactic) antibiotic use-- but consider the long-term implications.
Despite your best efforts, sometimes UTIs can be out of your control. For some people, UTIs are not determined by behavior and/or habits, some people are more likely to develop a UTI than others. This can be a result of hormonal changes, anatomy, pregnancy, or conditions like diabetes. Of course, it’s healthy to take up the habits outlined above, but sometimes you need extra help — like Uqora.