Are you prone to suffering from urinary tract infections? Unfortunately for women, because of our anatomy it is easier for us to get these infections. It's uncomfortable and sometimes painful, so what can we do to avoid them? Try these tips to help keep those URIs at bay …
1. Drink Plenty of Water - You Know You Should!
We're always being advised to drink lots of water for our general well-being, so if you're not drinking enough water it's time to start. It'll also help you avoid UTIs, as peeing more will get rid of any bacteria before they get a chance to cause an infection. So there's another good reason to drink plenty of water!
2. Avoid Feminine Cleansing Products
Have you seen how many feminine cleansing products there are on the shelves these days? Manufacturers want to make us paranoid about our hygiene, but there's no need. The vagina does a pretty good job of keeping itself clean. These products can actually cause irritation and infection, thus creating the very problem they're supposed to avoid! If you have an unpleasant odour, see your doctor; don't go rushing for the sprays and douches.
3. One Direction Only!
Excuse me for being this frank, but it's important. You might think you know how to wipe after using the bathroom, but never, ever wipe from back to front. This can transfer bacteria from the anal area to the vagina, and cause a nasty infection. Always wipe from front to back.
4. Cotton Clothing is the Best
Cotton undergarments are the best choice if you want to avoid UTIs. Cotton is a natural fiber, so allows your skin to breathe. Avoid wearing tight-fitting jeans or fabrics such as nylon, since they can cause irritation and won't allow your skin to breathe. If the weather is hot, it's better to wear loose garments to allow air to circulate and avoid sweating.
5. Pee Frequently
It's best to pee at least every 4 hours during the day. This means that you'll flush out the bacteria that can cause infections. So remember to follow the advice to drink plenty of water. And never hold off from visiting the bathroom - if you need to pee, go pee! So forget about waiting, or not wanting to use a public bathroom.
6. After Sex
Be especially careful after sex. It's very easy for bacteria to get in during sex, so even if you just feel like lying back and relaxing, go pee afterwards. Also drink some water to help flush out the bacteria. The same advice is good after exercise as well. If you're getting a lot of these infections, your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic or antiseptic for you to take after sex.
If you're very prone to getting UTIs, and these simple methods don't help, your doctor may recommend that you take medication. Antibiotics can help. You may need to take them for a longer period, or just when you feel the symptoms coming on. Some people benefit from a small amount of medication taken daily.
With careful attention to hygiene, and by drinking plenty of water, you can help reduce your chances of getting URIs, or avoid them altogether. It's also better to have showers, rather than long soaks in the bath. Have you any more tips that can help?