A urinary tract infection (UTI) is one of the severe emblematic pains and it can be very painful and frustrating if it is a recurring infection and that’s why UTI prevention is the key to avoid the insistent and severe complication of the infections. According to the available data, 60% of the women and 15% of men usually suffer from UTI, while taking antibiotics normally helps to put down the UTI within a few days, but still there are many simple measures which one should take for recurrent UTI prevention or to avoid or prevent the infection getting one in the first place.
Urinary Tract Infections are caused by bacteria which enters the urinary tract and causes the infection. To treat the infection, one has to take antibiotics, but overuse of antibiotics can lead to certain other infections, such as yeast infections, also it can hammer your immune system and upsurge the risk of developing resistance to the antibiotics in the long run. The right UTI prevention ways and solutions can certainly help the sufferer to break the cycle of recurring UTIs.
How Do Urinary Tract Infections Develop?
Most urinary tract infections start in the lower urinary tract, which comprises urethra and bladder. Bacteria which live on the skin near the anus or in the vagina can enter the urinary tract through the urethra. When these bacteria move up towards the urethra, they can cause a bladder infection which is called cystitis. If somehow these bacteria travels to the upper urinary tract which is consist of the ureters and the kidneys can cause kidney infection called as pyelonephritis, as severe illness. Lower urinary tract infections are less severe than the upper urinary tract infection.
UTIs are more common in women than men, it’s because the urethra is shorter in women than men and that’s why the bacteria can reach the bladder more easily.
What Causes Recurring Urinary Tract infections?
Either it is the first-time urinary tract infection or recurring UTIs, bacteria that causes the infection can enter the urinary tract from the outside or by bacteria that is already residing in the urinary tract due to the previous infection. The bacteria E. coli is a common cause of infections of the bladder. Bladder infections can also develop from toilet water backsplash or by inappropriate way of wiping resulting to severe UTI.
Things to Avoid When You Have Urinary Tract infections
- Don’t indulge in sexual intercourse, sex during UTI is uncomfortable because having sex during UTI can make the infection worse by adding new bacteria to your system.
- Avoid taking artificial sweeteners, as per some studies they can make your infection worst.
- Stop the alcohol intake immediately if you have UTI currently because alcohol irritates the bladder hence escalating the infection more and more.
- Avoid caffeine too for the same reason as alcohol, caffeine also irritates the bladder.
Best Ways to Help Prevent UTIs
- To keep the bacteria, flush out of your bladder and urinary tract, it is advisable to stay hydrated, drink plenty of water and relieve yourself frequently. Urination is one of the best natural defence against UTIs.
- Drinking plenty of water helps to speed up the urination process, so when you feel to pee don’t hold it in, go to bathroom and urinate immediately and completely, this helps to flush out the bad bacteria from your system.
- After urinating make sure to wipe from front to back. Bacteria tend closely to live around anus that’s why it is important to wipe from front to back, especially after a bowel movement; it is mandatory as it will prevent the bacteria to move towards urethra.
- Wash yourself cleanly using soap and water before sex and must pee afterward because peeing flush out the bacteria which fang near your genitals or has entered the urinary tract. Urinating prevent UTIs after sex, and precautionary measures like this keeps bacteria away from the urethra.
- Skip using irritating feminine products, don’t use douches, deodorant sprays, scented powders, and other feminine products with fragrances or chemicals.
- It is better to go for shower then baths if you are especially prone to urinary infection
- Wear cotton undergarments instead of synthetic to increase the breathability.
- If you are suffering from repetition of UTIs, it is the high time for you to evaluate your birth control methods. Uses of diaphragm, spermicide, unlubricated condoms or spermicidal jelly for contraception has higher chances to contribute in the bacterial growth and hence increasing the risk of getting the urinary tract infections. Shift to a water-based lubricant for vaginal dryness and contemplate trying another birth control option.
- Don’t take any food which can irritate your bladder or increase your bladder pH. Consuming food items like sugar, processed and pre-packaged ready-made food items, alcohol, caffeine can make the UTIs severe especially in the case of recurring UTIs
Consequences of Using Antibiotics for UTI prevention
Physicians often recommend antibiotics when you have recurrent UTIs, but overusing antibiotics is not good for the immune system. Initially these antibiotics can be effective for UTI prevention, but later it can weaken your immune system as using antibiotic is certainly not a cure. In some cases of recurrent UTIs, bacteria can become drug resistant. Over usage of antibiotic not only kills the bad bacteria but also good bacteria too, good bacteria in your body helps to prevent yeast infections. One unavoidable fact is – it’s not like that antibiotic kills all the bad bacteria present in the system, there are survivors too. Most of the time some survivor bacteria develop resistance to the drug and as a result these resistant bacteria reproduces and give rise to the new bacteria with drug resistant capacity.
Finally, in nutshell, antibiotic certainly helps in UTI prevention method. If someone has repeated UTIs, it is better to keep an eye on overusing the antibiotics that comes with some potential risks and side effects. The best way to fight the infection is its precautionary measures which I have pointed out above. So, stay hydrated, healthy and clean yourself properly to stop the UTI in the first place.