How to prevent urinary tract infection? Any infection in any part of your urinary system, bladder infections, kidney, urethra, and ureters can be termed a urinary tract infection. The most frequent form of urinary tract infection is a bladder infection; urinary tract infections always involve the lower urinary tract.
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and other components of the National Institutes of Health points out that bladder infection is more likely depending on age, health conditions, and habits. Women’s infection normally happens when the bowel bacteria reach the bladder and urethra. In the case of men, bladder infection occurs when you have an enlarged prostate and the normal urine flow is restricted.
A bladder infection is usually recognized after a physical examination and medical tests. If you have recurrent UTIs, then your doctor might recommend additional tests. Detection of white blood cells during urine culture also indicates urinary tract infection UTI. All this makes you wonder how to prevent urinary tract infections and stay healthy.
1. Urinary Tract
Before we head to the topic of how to prevent urinary tract infection, let us know what exactly is the urinary tract and its function in the human body. The body’s drainage system for removing urine is what the function of the urinary tract is. All body parts should function normally for the normal passing of urine. The urinary tract is also known as the urinary or renal system.
Studies point out that the best way to treat your UTIs is by consulting a doctor instead of modifying your diet and nutrition intake. Treatment for bladder infection is usually antibiotics and drinking cranberry juice or water so the bacteria are flushed out. Lifestyle changes like changes in birth control methods, habits, and hygiene will also prevent getting any other infection. How to prevent urinary tract infections is another important topic that needs to be discussed and looked into.
2. What are the Common Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infections UTIs
UTI symptoms are many, and they can vary from person to person. Women have a higher risk of getting UTIs than men, and most of these infections occur in the lower urinary tract, which is the bladder and the urethra.
The question of how to prevent urinary tract infection will be easy once you get to know the symptoms of a urinary tract infection UTI. The most common and unpleasant symptoms are a burning feeling when urine exits. These infections can be painful, and you might need the help of healthcare providers to treat your urinary tract infection.
- Frequent Urination
- Burning feeling while passing urine
- Urge to urinate
- Blood in urine always
- Pelvic Pain
- Back pain or pain in the lower abdomen
- Nausea or vomiting
- Strong-smelling and cloudy urine
- Fever or chills
Once you know the symptoms of UTIs, the next important thing to know is how to prevent urinary tract infections.
3. Causes of Urinary Tract Infections UTIs
- Abnormalities in the urinary tract
- Certain birth control methods, for example, diaphragms
- Kidney stones
- Sexual intercourse with multiple partners
- Using catheters in the urinary tract
- Urinary surgery
UTIs are not contagious and can happen only if sexually transmitted. They usually occur from gut bacteria such as E Coli (Escherichia Coli). Urethritis is one of the UTIs that can be gotten from sexually transmitted infections. Knowing the causes of UTIs makes it easy to determine how to prevent urinary tract infections.
4. Types of Urinary Tract Infections UTIs
Before discussing how to prevent urinary tract infections, let us look at the common and frequent urinary tract infections. Urinary tract infections and UTIs can affect you at any age.
Post-menopause, older women experience vaginal dryness and frequent UTIs. Women have vaginal dryness at some stage of their lives, which can be painful if they are sexually active.
This is one of the most common urinary tract infections, and this bacterial infection of the bladder when it has moved up from the urethra. Fever and urinary frequency are the common symptoms of Cystitis.
4.2 Catheter-Acquired Urinary Tract Infections
CAUTI or catheter-acquired urinary tract infections are another common UTI where the indwelling catheter gives access to the bacteria to enter through internal and external routes. Studies show prolonged use of catheters can lead to urinary tract infections.
Since long-term use of catheters makes it easy for bacterial growth, bacteriuria is common with long-term use of catheters. According to the Urology Care Foundation, 75 % of the patients in the urology ward do get urinary tract catheterization.
4.3 Complicated Urinary Tract Infection
How to prevent urinary tract infection? Let us know more about the common types of urinary tract infections before we know how to prevent urinary tract infections. When non-pregnant and healthy women have cystitis and pyelonephritis, it usually refers to a complicated UTI.
A complicated urinary tract infection usually presents as an episode of cystitis or pyelonephritis without any symptoms.
4.4 Pyelonephritis or Kidney Infection
When there is an infection in the kidneys due to ascending bacteria, it is one of the most common urinary tract infections. If the infection is mild, it can show a low fever; if the infection is severe, you might have a high fever, nausea, flank, or loin pain. If the fever persists, then it is better to seek medical treatment.
If the urethra that carries urine from the bladder to the external body is infected, it is called urethritis. This is also a common urinary tract infection; the main cause is usually bacteria around the urethral opening. E Coli bacteria, Gonococcus, or Chlamydia Trachomatis, are the causes of urethritis.
5. How to Prevent Urinary Tract Infection
Once you know you have UTI, then the next question would be how to prevent urinary tract infections and prevent UTIs from occurring often.
5.1 Drink Plenty of Water.
Drinking plenty of water will make you pee more, which is the best way to flush bacteria out of your urinary tract. 6-8 glasses of water are good to drink, and you can also increase your fluid intake with milk, herbal tea, smoothies, etc. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids and stay hydrated.
5.2 Empty Your Bladder Frequently.
Do not control the urge to urinate. Empty your bladder whenever you feel like going to the bathroom. Try to pass urine every 3-4 hours. Holding urine can cause bacterial growth. Pregnancy puts the women’s health at risk for urinary tract infection, and holding the urine can only lead to increased risk factors.,
5.3 Keep the Genital Area Clean Before and After Sexual Intercourse
The chances of getting an infection after sexual activity are more, especially if you are a woman because harmful bacteria can enter the urethra during sexual intercourse. Wash the genital area before sex so bacteria will not easily enter the urethra during sex.
5.4 Include Probiotics in Your Diet.
Knowing how to prevent urinary tract infections is important if you are prone to recurrent infections in your urinary system. Probiotics in your diet are a good way to increase healthy bacteria in your gut and urinary system. If your urinary tract and immune system are healthy, you might not get UTI. Boost your urinary tract by taking probiotic supplements, yogurt, kefir, or tempeh.
5.5 Pass Urine After Sexual Intercourse
How to prevent urinary tract infections? Passing urine after sexual activity is a good way to reduce the risk factors of UTIs. It will help flush out the bacteria in that area, which applies more to women’s health. Gently wash the area so that it will prevent bacteria from not spreading to the urethra.
5.6 Avoid Using Products that Are Not Meant for That Area
Lactobacilli bacteria are found in the vagina and help to maintain it healthy. Scented products may let harmful bacteria grow and cause UTIs, yeast infections, and bacterial vaginosis.
Use less scented powders, scented sprays, and scented pads and tampons. Scented bubble baths and soaps can irritate and cause an imbalance in the vaginal bacteria. This is one of the good ways how to prevent urinary tract infections.
5.7 Wipe from the Front to the Back.
This is recommended because the E Coli bacteria is mainly in the rectum, and wiping from front to back reduces the risk factors associated with bringing this bacteria from the anus to the urethra. It is all the more helpful when you have diarrhea, as the chances of E Coli spreading to the urethra are high because of the irregular bowel movement.
5.8. Check the Birth Control Method.
Birth control methods can cause UTIs because it encourages harmful bacteria to grow. Some common birth control methods are diaphragms, non-lubricated condoms, spermicide condoms, and spermicides. Your doctor can give you an alternate method or other suitable options.
6. In The End
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says urinary tract diseases are the most common infections associated with health care. Most infections can be treated if you recognize the UTI symptoms quickly and consult a doctor. Antibiotics are the usual treatment choice if your UTI is bad and severe. Take medical advice and treat urinary tract infections before they can get worse.
In case you liked this article, here is something more.
7.1 How Can I Determine Whether I Have a UTI?
Strong, constant urges to urinate, burning during urination, murky or strong-smelling urine, frequent small-volume urination, and pelvic pain are typical signs of a UTI. It’s crucial to see a doctor if you have these symptoms so they can properly diagnose and treat you.
7.2 Can Cranberry Juice Help Me Avoid UTIs?
Although cranberry juice has long been thought to aid in UTI prevention, empirical data is conflicting. More research is required. However, some studies indicate that cranberry products may help some groups lower their risk of recurring UTIs. Cranberry juice consumption is not a sure prevention strategy, but it can be used within a larger prevention strategy.
7.3 Can Engaging in Sexual Activity Raise My Risk of UTIs?
In particular, for women, sexual activity can raise the risk of UTIs. This is due to the possibility of urethral infection brought on by sexual activity. Urinating before and after sexual activity, maintaining excellent genital cleanliness, and thinking about using a water-based lubricant during intimacy are all recommended ways to lower the risk.