Bathing suit? Check. Sunscreen? Check. Towel? Check. It’s summer and you’re ready to enjoy the weather and long days. Just when it seems like everything's going swimmingly, you notice a burning sensation near your urethra and when you pee.Great, another UTI just in time for summer.Urinary tract infections are more common in the summertime, but that doesn’t mean you have to put up with them. Afterall, who has time for UTIs? Let’s dive into some solutions so you can hit the pool or beach stress-free.
Why are UTIs more common during the summer?
Urinary tract infections are caused by harmful bacteria traveling up your urethra to your bladder. These bacteria exist naturally around your anus and perineum, however, when they are introduced to the urethra, it can cause an infection. It also doesn’t help that women are more likely to get UTIs because we have shorter urethras, which means it’s a shorter distance for bacteria to climb to reach the bladder. Here’s why UTIs are common during the summer:
- Being in swimming pools and jacuzzis means that germs and bacteria from other areas of your body (and other people’s bodies) are floating around.
- Spending time in wet, damp bathing suits. Humidity, warmth, and moisture breed more bacteria, which increases your risk of a UTI.
- Dehydration. Weather it’s spending more time in the sun, going out for drinks (or both), drinking less water means your body doesn’t have the tools to fight off an infection. If you’re drinking less water it also means you’re peeing less, so UTI-causing bacteria have a greater chance of adhering to your urethra or bladder.
You’re sweating more than usualdown there. Wet or damp underwear also makes it easier for bacteria to grow.
- You’re getting intimate this summer and sex makes it easier for bacteria to shift around and cause a UTI. It also doesn’t help that our clitoris is located just above our urethra, and a lot of pressure is applied to that area during sex.
So you can’t regulate how much chlorine is in a pool, and you can’t control weather or not people shower before entering the pool. Does that mean you should just skip the pool altogether and admire the water from the comfort of a lounge chair? Absolutely not. Here are measures you can take to avoid UTIs after swimming:
Drink your recommended daily amount of water to stay hydrated. Urinating flushes out bacteria.
- When you’re done swimming, shower off (clean water will do just fine!) and change into dry cotton underwear. For optimal ventilation, loose-fitting clothing is your best bet.
- Pee + clean after intercourse. It’s 2019, can we stop acting like women don’t get up to pee immediately after sex? The cuddles can wait, urinary health cannot. Cleaning with water afterwards can also help wash away opportunistic bacteria.
- Go to the bathroom when you need to, and take your time to empty your bladder. If you hold in your urine for too long, this makes it easier for bacteria to grow.
- Opt for showers instead of baths.
- Avoid scented feminine products, sprays, douches, or lubes that can throw off your vaginal pH. When your delicate vaginal pH is knocked off balance, this makes it harder for the healthy bacteria that protect your body to fight off pathogens.
If you’re already doing everything in your power to avoid UTIs after swimming and you still can’t catch a break, it might be time for back up.
Uqora’s three-part system is an effective approach to UTI prevention:
Target flushes out new bacteria introduced during specific activities, like sex, swimming, or other triggers.
Control breaks up old bacteria already living in the urinary tract, which can cause UTIs that come out of nowhere.
Promotenurtures the good bacteria, which combat the bad bacteria shown increase the risk of recurring UTIs.
Your love for swimming and summer time activities shouldn’t come at the cost of another UTI. Take the plunge and take charge of your urinary health with Uqora.