A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection in any part of the urinary system. This system comprises of the kidneys, ureters, urethra, and bladder. While the most commonly affected areas are the urethra and bladder, kidneys and ureters get impacted only in severe cases.
Due to a shorter urethra, women are more prone to UTI than men. Every 1 in 2 women gets UTI at least once in a lifetime and some experience it often with repeated infections. Pain and burning during urination, frequent urge to pee even though a little amount of urine is passed each time, foul-smelling urine, and fever and chills are the common symptoms.
Preventing UTI is easy and making these small changes to your routine help.
How To Prevent UTI Naturally
1. Wipe Front To Back
After you are done with bowel movements, always remember to wipe from front to back. The E-coli bacteria present in the intestine slip out and stay on the anus when you pass motions. Wiping it from back to front simply places the E-coli on your urethra giving it an easy access to enter your bladder. This triggers an infection which is painful and annoying.
2. Drink Plenty Of Water
The benefits of staying hydrated are innumerable. Preventing UTI is one of them. Drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day keeps your bladder healthy. Since frequent hydration causes frequent urination, it flushes the bladder at regular intervals. This avoids bacterial buildup in the bladder which triggers infection.
3. Empty Your Bladder Frequently
Not emptying your bladder frequently, exposes the wall of the bladder to harmful toxins and bacteria for longer intervals. The longer the urine sits in your bladder, the more it stagnates. So, it is best to pee every time you begin to feel the urge rather than holding it for long.
4. Choose Shower Over Bathtub
Showers are quick and do not expose your genitals to water for a long time. Bath, however, provides a perfect environment for bacterial growth. The longer you stay in the tub, the longer and more number of bacteria enter your urethra. Especially in people who experience UTI often, it is strongly suggested to choose showers.
Also, it is best to avoid feminine hygiene products, as they alter the pH in your genitals. Your body already has the capability to maintain optimum pH down there, and hygiene products are simply a fad.
5. Have A Lot Of Probiotics
Probiotics are the good bacteria that fight and keep away the bad bacteria. Probiotics are necessary to maintain a healthy balance between good and bad bacteria for optimal health. Studies have shown a link between consuming probiotic supplements and lowering the incidences of UTIs. They act by preventing the sticking and breeding of bacteria in the bladder, avoiding infection.
Having probiotic supplements, low-fat yogurt, or consuming foods like kefir, sauerkraut, and tempeh is recommended.
6. Urinate After Intercourse
Having sex can push the bacteria in your vagina to the urethra. Thus, urinating after an intercourse lets you get rid of the unwanted bacteria immediately.
Also, it is a good idea to cleanse your genitals before intercourse to avoid the unnecessary invasion of bacteria.
7. Include Cranberries In Your Diet
Cranberries have been used since ages in prevention and treatment of UTI. They work by avoiding the bacteria from sticking around and accumulating in the bladder. Drinking at least 2 glasses of cranberry juice every day is not just good for your bladder, but also provides antioxidant benefits. Make sure you have a sugar-free one. Cranberry extract supplements are also available that work well.
These simple yet powerful tips maintain a good vaginal and bladder health. Making them a part of your routine is the easiest way to prevent UTI.