Do you experience a burning sensation while urinating? On top of that an increased frequency and urgency to go coupled with pain in your back or lower abdomen?
It could be that you are suffering from a urinary tract infection. It is estimated that 50% of women will suffer from a UTI in their lifetime i.e 1 in 2 women. So how can a woman prevent this? Here are 11 ways to protect yourself from a UTI.
1. Front to Back
For starters, how do you clean yourself after doing number 2? It may seem like a rude question, but it is important.
The hygienic way to wipe is from the front to back. If you wipe from back to front there is a possibility of E.coli, the bacteria in fecal matter to enter the urethra.
Once in the urethra, the bacteria spreads up to the bladder. If it goes untreated it spreads up to the kidneys. Unfortunately, since women have a shorter urethra than men, the bacteria spread much faster. To protect yourself from a UTI always wipe from the front to the back.
2. Anal Play Hygiene
If this is how you get down, always make sure you change condoms or clean before switching to the front. Additionally, when using anal toys clean them thoroughly or dispose of the used condom before switching.
Just keep it clean.
3. Drink Cranberry Juice
Cranberries have an active ingredient called A-type proanthocyanidins (PACs) that prevents E.coli bacteria from sticking around in the bladder therefore, preventing a UTI. In case you do not have access to the juice, you can take cranberry supplements.
4. Showers over Baths
Having a bubble bath after a long day from work can be one of the best unwinding therapies. However, it causes irritation to the urethra and can cause a urinary tract infection. Favor having a shower over a bath.
5. Stop Holding It
There is usually a temptation to hold particularly if you are in an environment that does not have clean washrooms. Unfortunately, if you make it a habit to always hold it in it may cause a urinary tract infection.
Develop the habit of going whenever you feel the urge and empty completely.
6. Switch Contraceptives
Using a barrier method, especially a diaphragm together with a spermicide increases your risk of contracting a UTI. If you suffer recurrent UTIs and use this method it may be prudent to change contraceptives.
7. Drink a Lot of Water
Water will not only hydrate you but it will flush away all toxins in your body. Drink at least 8 glasses of water per day and say goodbye to UTIs.
8. Stay Away from Scents
Your vagina has its natural scent and it should not smell like strawberries or roses. Unfortunately, it has been marketed aggressively that a vagina's scent should be masked. Using feminine hygiene products with fragrances makes the vagina susceptible to UTIs. So do stay away from any scented feminine hygiene product.
9. Clean Sex
Make sure to always clean up before and after having sex. Additionally, pee after having sex. This will reduce your chances of contracting a UTI.
10. Breathable Underwear
Though sexy underwear makes you feel like a fox, most of them are made of synthetic fiber. Hence, they are not able to absorb sweat. This creates a prime environment for breeding bacteria. Tight underwear and tight clothes also make it a ripe environment for a UTI. The best solution is to wear underwear made of natural fiber like cotton and bamboo. These fibers will absorb sweat and let your skin breath comfortably.
11. Use Tea Tree Oil
Mix a ratio of 1:4 tea tree oil with distilled water. Soak a tampon in the solution and then insert in the vagina. Tea tree oil has antibacterial properties and it will fight off any harmful bacteria that can cause a urinary tract infection. It is not only a preventive measure but can also be used as curative treatment.
Maintain proper hygiene at all times and in case you experience symptoms make sure to see your doctor.