UTIs (or Urinary Tract Infections for those not in the know) are very common, with most women experiencing them at some time in their lives.
According to Dr Dasha Fielder of Sapphire Family Medical Practice, UTIs are a bacterial infection of the bladder which causes frequent, and painful urination. The infection develops after bacteria commonly found in the bowels makes its way to the urethra (the tube which carries urine out of the body).
Being sexually active increases your risk of contracting a UTI, but you can also develop the infection from incorrectly wiping after using the toilet or simply from being run down. Here’s how to avoid them…
1. Empty your bladder before and after sex.
Doctors recommend that women empty their bladder both before and after sexual intercourse to reduce the likelihood of bacteria accumulating. We know it’s annoying, but it’s important.
2. Drink plenty of water.
Drinking enough water is another way to reduce your chance of developing a UTI.
This is simply because the more you drink, the more you’re flushing out your bladder and reducing the chance of bacterial infection. (Post continues after gallery.)
3. Learn to clean yourself correctly after you open your bowels from front to back.
Failing to wipe properly after using the bathroom is another potential risk for UTIs. It’s recommend that women wipe from front to back to reduce the chance of bacteria such as ecoli making it’s way into the urethra.
4. Get acquainted with cranberry and Vitamin C.
Studies have shown that drinking cranberry juice and taking Vitamin C can help prevent UTIs because they make the urine more acidic, and therefore less desirable to nasty infection-causing bacteria. Some theories also say that drinking cranberry juice prevents the bacteria from sticking to the walls of the urinary tract itself.
5. Most importantly, if you do get recurrent UTI please speak to your GP, there are many good treatments available.
While common, frequent urinary tract infections are not a part of life, and not something that you need to put up with. If you have recurring bouts of UTIs it's best to see your doctor to eliminate underlying causes and receive appropriate treatment.
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