Tips to Prevent UTI

Posted on Jul 12, 2022

UTI or Urinary Tract Infections are common infections affecting any part of the urinary system. Urinary tract infections are responsible for nearly 10 million healthcare visits each year. These infections are more common in females than males. Lower UTIs are common and are not a cause for major concern. Upper UTIs can be serious if left untreated, as they could damage the kidneys or spread to the bloodstream.

What Is the Urinary System?

The urinary system consists of two kidneys, two ureters, a bladder, and a urethra. The kidneys filter the blood and make urine which is a waste product that passes through the tubes called ureters into the bladder which stores the urine. When the bladder becomes full, the urine is let out of the body through the urethra. The size of the urethra is smaller in women, so they are more prone to UTIs than men. 

Who Is at Risk of a UTI?

  • Women
  • Diabetes patients
  • Patients with kidney stones
  • Men with enlarged prostate
  • Patients with long-term catheter use
  • Having unprotected sex

How Can UTIS Be Prevented?

UTIs are usually treated with oral medications which include a short course of antibiotics. Recurrent UTIs are a cause of concern and certain lifestyle changes help to prevent the recurrence. Here are a few tips to prevent recurrent UTIs:

  • Maintain hydration - It’s important to maintain good hydration to flush infection-causing organisms from the urinary tract. Avoid having caffeinated or carbonated drinks often. 
  • Balanced diet - Highly acidic or alkaline foods can cause further irritation and inflammation in an already fragile urinary tract. Make sure to eat foods rich in Vitamin C regularly. 
  • Limit antibiotic intake - Overuse of antibiotics may result in developing resistance. Talk to your physician before taking any medication on your own. 
  • Safe sex - Using a condom prevents the passing of UTIs from male to female. Urinating within 15 minutes of sexual intercourse flushes out the urinary tract. Urinate when you feel the urge. Do not postpone going to the bathroom. 
  • Maintain hygiene 

a) Use non-perfumed soaps and avoid using any chemicals near the vagina and urethra. Feminine hygiene products such as douches, deodorant sprays, or powders used in the genital area can irritate the urethra. These chemicals create an imbalance in the vaginal flora. Take extra care while using personal hygiene products such as tampons, menstrual cups, or diaphragms. 

b) Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothes and undergarments made of synthetic fibers. These trap moisture and give room for fungal infections to grow. Wearing loose-fitting clothing made from natural fibers, especially in a humid climate is recommended.